Sheriff’s Office looking into allegations of Chalmette juveniles involved in the practice of sexting by re-sending suggestive photos to social networks

Posted: December 18th, 2013 | Filed under: News Releases

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office has begun an investigation into whether Chalmette juveniles were involved in the practice of sexting by re-sending suggestive photos to social network sites, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Sexting is the illegal practice of juveniles under 17 sending suggestive photos of themselves or re-transmitting suggestive photos they received using e-mail, computer or other electronic means. Some of the photos involved in the St. Bernard case ended up being re-sent using the social network Instagram.

Sheriff Pohlmann said sheriff’s detectives in the Juvenile Division are investigating the origin of photos involved brought to the attention of authorities and several suspects and victims have been interviewed. Some of the photos may have been altered so that a face is falsely associated with an image of a different body, the sheriff said.

No arrests have been made but detectives are trying to determine if there are violations of state law involving what is known as sexting.

Under law, a minor who sends a suggestive photo of themselves to another minor could be subject to mandatory counseling, however, a minor who re-transmits an indecent image sent to them could be subject to a short jail sentence and a fine. Adults sending suggestive images of a minor would face stricter penalties. Louisiana was one of the first states to pass a law directly aimed at teenage sexting.

In the Chalmette investigation, the sheriff said, detectives are focusing on the re-transmitting of inappropriate images.

Sheriff Pohlmann said his department will not release any further information about the investigation at this time.