INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Six Northeast Iowa teenagers have been charged with misdemeanors stemming from distribution of an obscene photo taken by a fellow student.
The case began with the cellphone photo taken by a teen boy or girl that was sent to another student at Independence Junior/Senior High School in Independence.
Buchanan County Attorney Shawn Harden says the student who received the photo then sent it to several friends, who forwarded it as well.
Harden said after the original recipient received the photo and distributed it to others. Some students then distributed it again. One student receiving the forwarded photo reported it because he felt the distribution of the photo was inappropriate and "being done for the purpose of humiliating the original sender," Harden said in an email to The Courier.
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That student informed his parents who then contacted the school. The school then contacted law enforcement.
The six students were arrested last week and soon were released to their parents. Blake Hoth and Kieley Lyon, both 15, and Gage West and Keaton Stoner, both 14, were charged with telephone dissemination of obscene material to minors. Colin Butzlaff, 14, was charged with dissemination and exhibition of obscene material; and Jenna Price, 14, was charged with solicitation of telephone dissemination of obscene material.
Iowa law bars using a phone to send obscene material to a minor.