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Updated: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 15:05:03 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Child porn charges to be laid against 10 Laval teens



Laval police warn teens of the dangers of Snapchat, after they arrest ten youths on charges of producing and distributing child porn for allegedly sharing explicit photos of girlfriends sent using the Snapchat app. CBC

Laval police warn teens of the dangers of Snapchat, after they arrest ten youths on charges of producing and distributing child porn for allegedly sharing explicit photos of girlfriends sent using the Snapchat app. CBC

Ten youths, aged 13 to 15, are to appear in youth court in Laval, Que. today to face child pornography charges, after a school teacher caught a boy with explicit photos allegedly taken with the smartphone application Snapchat.

Laval police have issued warrants for the boys who police say were trading photos — in several cases, of each other's girlfriends — among themselves on their smartphones.

Const. Nathalie Lorrain said the teens face charges of possession, distribution and production of child pornography.

Lorrain said police and parents were called to a Laval high school in the English-language Wilfrid Laurier School Board, after a school staff member discovered a male student was showing other boys sexually explicit photographs of a girl about the same age.

"There was a small network of 10 young men that were soliciting young girls that some of them knew very well," said Lorrain. 

"They were asking these girls for sexually explicit pictures — sometimes with a lot of insistence."

She said the photos were shared among boys at three Laval schools:

- Mother Theresa Junior High School.

- Laval Liberty High School.

- Laurier Senior High School.

Girls thought Snapchat was safe, police say

Lorrain said some of the alleged victims thought they were safe because they were using the Snapchat app, which allows users to take and send photos that disappear from a receiver's device after a few seconds.

However, she said, the young men involved would capture and save screen grabs of the photos before they disappeared.

"Once the picture is sent in cyberspace, it's completely lost," Lorrain said. "You can't recuperate that, unfortunately."

Lorrain said Laval police want to broadcast a clear message that the sharing  of explicit photos can spiral into dangerous situations.

"In some cases, the girls were pretty shaken up when they found out," Lorrain said.

"What we want really is for these young people to respect themselves," she said. "The boys respect the girls.  Girls, respect yourselves, and don't send pictures like that."

Teens in Rehtaeh Parsons case also charged

The charges against the Laval teens coincide with the appearance of two 18-year-old men in provincial court in Halifax, charged in connection with the Rehtaeh Parsons case.  

One man is charged with creating and distributing child pornography and a second with distributing child pornography.

Both were youths at the time of her death last spring. The 17-year-old was taken off life support a few days after a suicide attempt. 

According to her parents, four boys sexually assaulted their daughter at a house party when she was 15. The Cole Harbour, N.S., teen was then said to have been mocked by classmates, enduring relentless harassment and humiliation after a digital photo of the attack was circulated at school and on social media.


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