Hamilton middle school students facing felony charges for allegedly sending images of a minor involved in a sex act will be in court later this month.
Both the 12-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, who are Wilson Middle School students, are charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a second-degree felony. The male student obtained pictures and a video of a female student performing sex acts on herself, and the male student then sent the material to other students, police said.
“This is not just a matter of kids talking sexy to each other. (The material) is child pornography,” said Hamilton police Sgt. Brian Robinson.
Both juveniles are scheduled to appear before a magistrate on Feb. 21. Because the cases involve felony charges, it will be assigned to a judge, and depending on the background of the children, they could be placed on probation, receive counseling or receive offense-specific intervention up to incarceration in juvenile facility.
Robinson compared the charges to those faced for possessing or distributing child pornography.
Police and juvenile court programs have reached out to educate children about the dangers of sending sexually oriented material.
“We tell them, look, if you get caught doing this, it is a felony,” Robinson said. He added that not only can the children get in trouble with the law, but in some cases the images live on social media, creating consequences for them for years.