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No charges will be filed in Rotolo “sexting” incident

Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Batavia police announced Monday they will not bring any criminal charges against Rotolo Middle School students who police said were involved in a “sexting” incident.

Batavia Police Detective Kevin Bretz on Monday said the department decided that educating the students on the proper and improper use of social media was a better idea than charging them.

Police had been investigating the case of inappropriate nude images that police said were taken by Rotolo Middle School students of themselves and shared with other students.

Six or seven students sent photos of themselves through cellphone text messages, Bretz said. Between 20 to 24 students received the photos.

Those boys and girls who were involved in the incident are between 11 and 14 years old, Bretz said.

“All the parents of the students that were involved in the incident were very concerned,” Bretz said. “Some were shocked. They were planning on having serious discussions with their children.”

The school district was made aware of the images April 29 after a Rotolo Middle School student let a staff member know that some inappropriate images of classmates may have been distributed through social media, school officials have said.

If any disciplinary action is taken against the students involved in the incident, it will be handled by the school district and not released per school district policy, police said.

Parents of the students will be contacted through the school district and notified of the results of the investigation. Batavia school officials could not be reached for comment.

According to Rotolo’s handbook, students are prohibited from “creating, sending, sharing, viewing, receiving or possessing an indecent visual depiction of oneself or another person through the use of a computer, electronic communication device or cellular phone.”

Under state law, it is illegal for those younger than the age of 18 to distribute lewd photos using their cellphones or computers.

Those found guilty of sexting could face supervision, as well as community service and counseling.

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