Local News

SBI helps investigate students' nude Instagram photos

Posted February 19, 2014 6:09 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2014 6:48 p.m. EST

— The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to assist in the investigation after nude photos of Wake County high school students started appearing on Instagram accounts.

Although Wake County Public School System security personnel believe photos of nude boys and girls from Enloe High School, Athens Drive High School, Rolesville High School, Holly Spring High School, Heritage High School and Middle Creek High School were on the accounts, the only confirmed victim lives in Wake Forest. The Wake Forest Police Department had been the only law enforcement agency investigating the case until they asked the SBI's Computer Crimes Unit for help.

"When law enforcement serves a subpoena, they get information to us very quickly, especially when it involves a child. Our unit mostly investigates child exploitation and child pornography," Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

Wake Forest police have subpoenaed Facebook, which owns Instagram, for information on the accounts.

"We have found young people are pretty good at technology, and sometimes they can avoid detection, but investigators are pretty good. They are good at following tech tracks," Cooper said.

Someone convicted of posting the nude photos could end up on the state's sex offender registry, he said.

A woman told Wake Forest police last week that her daughter had learned that someone had posted nude photos of her on Twitter and Instagram. The girl is now 18, but the photos were taken when she was 14 or 15, the mother told investigators.

Nude photos of other young women were also on the Instagram account, the mother said.

Cooper suggested that parents have conversations with their children about taking, sharing and posting online explicit pictures.