Police: Mass. girls' Facebook photos on porn site

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Associated Press

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 16 at 7:07 PM

CHARLTON, Mass. (AP) — The FBI and Massachusetts police are trying to figure out who "hijacked" Facebook photos of teenage girls from more than a dozen high schools in the state and posted them on a website police say features child pornography.

Authorities on Thursday described the site as an anonymous bulletin board with links to pornographic content and photos of students from all 50 states.

The Massachusetts link displayed pictures of 17 teenage girls from Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton and others from schools around the state, officials said.

The photos of the fully-clothed girls contained information that could be used to identify the teens, including town and school signs, Charlton Police Chief James Pervier said.

The site is hosted in Ohio but its servers are in eastern Europe — outside local and federal authority, Charlton Police Lt. Carl Ekman said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said the agency was reviewing the matter to determine whether any laws were violated, including privacy and anti-pornography laws.

Boston FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich said the site was running Thursday. He would not discuss any agency actions taken in its review.

As she waited in her car at Charlton for her sophomore daughter, Tracy Nicholas Cruz, 40, said she has heard from many of the girls whose pictures appeared on the site.

"...they were humiliated," she said. "They didn't know how their pictures got exploited. These are good girls."

As a mother, she said, "It's just scary to think that your child could just have this site to communicate with other students and her friends and everything, and then something as bad as this other site comes out and takes their pictures? That's horrible."

Seventeen-year-old Autumn Walczak said she deleted her Facebook profile "because I did not want to be part of, like, anything that would happen to me and stuff."

Bay Path's Superintendent-Director David Papagni said some students and parents alerted school officials in January that someone had secretly copied the Facebook photos of students and posted them on the site.

"It's an awful thing," Papagni said.

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Rodrique Ngowi can be reached at www.twitter.com/ngowi

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