Westerville News & Public Opinion

Westerville Central

Circulation of nude photos sends student to court next week


A former Westerville Central High School student faces a court hearing next week in connection with the circulation a collage of nude and semi-nude pictures of girls that made its way around the community.

The student, a male 10th grader at Central last year, is charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented materials and disseminating harmful material to juveniles.

The collage is a collection of photos of local girls posing in bathroom mirrors and showers, nude or semi-nude.

The investigation began when police received a report of an account on the photo-sharing social media app Instagram with posts of nude minors.

Greg Viebranz, spokesman for the Westerville City School District, said in an email that "None of the evidence gathered during the police investigation indicates that any of the activity occurred during the school hours or on school property."

Because the investigation is still open, Genoa Township Police Chief Steve Gammill said he couldn't give too many details. He posted on the police department's Facebook page that the student is associated with circulating the collage of nude photos, but also no longer attends Central.

In his Facebook post, Gammill also warns parents that this type of activity -- nude photos on mobile devices and passing them around -- is widespread among kids everywhere. He advises parents to get informed about the technology and apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Kik.

"In my humble opinion (for whatever that's worth) as a parent of teens and police officer, it is primarily the parent's responsibility to try to prevent this," Gammill wrote. "Talk to your kids about this and make them aware of the possible consequences.

"We have to raise our kids, not the schools," he added. "I know as well as any parent it's not always easy but it's our most important job."

Police are still searching for other potential suspects in the case.

Delaware County Prosecutor Office said the student's arraignment has been set for Monday, June 23.