Teen Accused of Extorting Children, Putting their Photos Online

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Staff

JACKSON, Tenn.- A Jackson teen is accused of extortion and identity theft after allegedly publishing nude photos of two underage victims.

In a joint investigation, Jackson Police and the Madison County Sheriff's Department uncovered a exploitation scandal that stemmed from sexting.

Authorities said a 17-year-old and a 12-year old were the targets.
In the beginning, the alleged victims sent nude photos to the suspect who they thought was a woman, sending them pictures as well.

When the victims stopped sending pictures, the suspect allegedly threatened and is accused of eventually posting the explicit material online via websites and Facebook underneath both victim's names.

Authorities warn teens to be careful in their cell phone and online activities.

"People can portray themselves to be someone who they are not. So when you meet someone on the internet, you need to be mindful of what you do, say and send to other people because you don't know who it is on the other side of the computer," said Capt. Tyreece Miller of the Jackson Police Department.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News spoke with some West Tennessee parents who were disgusted, but not surprised to hear about such behavior taking place.

They said that parents can play a major role in stopping these activities before they start and saving their children from the pain that follows.

"I just feel like it would be very hurtful, and I think you ought to try and be more involved with their cell phones. What they're looking at, what they're viewing. if they have passwords, you need to know the code because if we're not involved, it's so much now that our young people can get involved in," said one mother, Eugenia Richard.

Police said the district attorney general's office has indicated that they intend to file a motion to have the teen suspect tried as an adult in this case. Officers believed there are several other victims in this case who have not come forward.

If you believe you may have been a target, contact Jackson Police at (731) 425-8400 or Crime Stoppers at (731) 424-TIPS.


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