A 15-year-old South Whidbey boy who distributed nude photos of female students pleaded guilty to charges this month.
Under a plea bargain, the boy pleaded guilty to a deferred disposition in Island County Juvenile Court to two counts of disclosing intimate images by a person under 18.
State law governing the juvenile justice system dictates a strong presumption that a juvenile defendant will receive a deferred disposition. The charges will be dismissed in a year if he follows conditions set by the court, which include supervision by a probation counselor, 100 hours of community service and mental health treatment if recommended after an assessment.
In a victim impact statement, the mother of one of the victims wrote that the boy blackmailed the girl with the photos “into doing what she was told.” The boy’s action caused the girl to pull away from friends and family; she suffered from devastating anxiety, as well as feelings that she was worthless and just an object, according to the statement.
“Despite this, she has become an advocate for others who are bullied and survivors of sexual assault,” the woman wrote. “Her maturity and bravery is clearly beyond her years and represented in her willingness to move forward with this case.”
The boy, a former student at South Whidbey Middle School, shared nude photos of girls with his friends over a smart phone.
A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case after school administrators reported it earlier this year. The deputy wrote in his report that the boy was uncooperative and seemed to think it was all a joke; he laughed and said it was “stupid” that he got called into the office.
A judge ordered that he have no contact with the girl.
One victim indicated that the boy coerced her into sending a nude photo, according to the deputy’s report.
A victim told the investigator that she sent a nude photo on Snapchat, an app that allows someone to send a photo that can only be viewed for a short time. The girl received a notice, however, that the boy had taken a screenshot of the image.
Under the terms of the disposition, possible restitution was reserved to a later date.
Documents in a civil case show that the boy has a home life troubled by domestic violence.