KDKA — New Castle police say a woman took nude photos of her underage daughters and sold the pictures to a year-old man. David Bates and the mother of the girls are now charged with conspiracy to commit sexual abuse of children. New Castle police say the two girls were between the ages of 11 and 13, and Bates paid the mother for pictures. Police are not identifying the mom in order to protect the identities of her daughters.
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When nude photos of girls who attended a Baltimore County high school started showing up on a website, word quickly spread among students. Eventually a county police officer stationed in the school got a tip and started investigating, and the images were taken down. But some of the girls' parents wanted legal consequences for the boys who posted the photos. Authorities determined that no legal action could be taken. Even with new laws outlawing "revenge porn" and cyberbullying, sexting is difficult to prosecute not only because youth are involved, but also because it's not necessarily illegal. Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said the incident "did not rise to a level of a crime, but certainly it was quite disturbing to the community and the school itself. Glen Wiedeck of the Baltimore County Police Department said the Crimes Against Children Unit estimated that the number of requests for authorities to investigate teen sexting has increased, reaching about a dozen in the past year.
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A year-old Marshall girl testified Wednesday that she sent nude photographs of herself to someone she met on social media. Calhoun County prosecutors have alleged that Budnick used Snapchat and Instagram to contact three dozen or more underage girls in Marshall, Battle Creek and Albion seeking naked pictures and sex. But after a couple of weeks the conversation turned sexual.