MOUNTAIN VIEW—Mountain View police are investigating students in the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District who have allegedly been exchanging sexually explicit photos of underage female students online, police said.
In August, students from Mountain View High School opened a shareable Dropbox file in which they uploaded and distributed nude photos of at least two female students. School officials reported the incident to police on August 28, prompting authorities to shut down the Dropbox file.
The San Francisco Chronicle spoke with Captain Chris Hsiung, who stated the case was “not a boyfriend-girlfriend scenario,” and that both male and female subjects were sharing these photos through the file-sharing website.
Katie Nelson, spokesperson for the Mountain View Police Department, reported that all individuals involved in the case are minors. Police have identified at least two female victims and a “handful” of suspects, Nelson said. None of the student involved have had their identities disclosed to the public.
The Chronicle and Mountain View Voice reported that seven Mountain View officials, including members of the Cyber Crime Unit, Child Crimes Unit, and school resource officers have been inquiring into the case, interviewing students and families in the process. All those involved in the investigation, including those who have been queried, were granted access to counseling services. No arrests have been made, nor have any suspects been cited. In addition, school administrators have not formally shared details of the case, though MVHS English teacher Steven Kahl, heard about the inspection from one of the students involved.
In an interview with The Chronicle, Kahl said that he is “concerned not to have known for almost an entire semester about what allegedly happened to some girls on our campus. Teachers and counselors could have been sensitive to the fact that girls’ integrity may have been compromised online — girls who may have been sitting in the same class or a cooperative learning environment” with the alleged suspects.”
Police are in the process of preparing a case to be reviewed by the juvenile division of the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office. The Chronicle stated that up to five local high schools could have been involved in the case, though no additional information has been disclosed.
A letter was sent out to MVLA families by Jeff Harding, Superintendent of the MVLA High School District, and Max Bosel, Chief of the Mountain View Police Department regarding the investigation.