Students Charged in “Sexting” Investigation

May 26, 2015

Cape May Court House, New Jersey – Cape May County Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor and Lower Township Police Chief William Mastriana announce the charging of nineteen juveniles and one adult in a cell phone “sexting” investigation centered in the Lower Cape May Regional High School and the Richard M. Teitelman Middle School.

On April 23, 2015, school officials were alerted by a juvenile female student that naked photographs of a friend were being texted to male students around the school. School officials immediately notified the Lower Township School Resource Officer which resulted in Detectives from the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office and the Lower Township Police Department initiating an investigation.

During the course of this investigation, 27 cell phones were seized and analyzed. It was learned that numerous nude and partially nude photographs of female students were being exchanged between male students via text message and social media.

As a result of this investigation, nineteen juveniles and one adult were charged with Invasion of Privacy, a crime of the third degree. Third degree crimes carry with them the possibility of three to five years in State Prison for adult offenders and up to two years in the Training School for juvenile offenders.

Prosecutor Taylor commends the Lower Cape May Regional High School for their assistance and cooperation in this matter.

The prevalence of “sexting” among our High School and Middle School children is concerning. The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office offers a free seminar to every school within Cape May County on the dangers and consequences of cyberbullying and sexting. It is imperative that these students understand the severity of their actions and the impact that their actions have on themselves, their victims, and the community. Students in other Cape May County schools should be aware that these actions are criminal and can lead to prosecution.