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Sexting investigations open at two high schools

Numbers of people involved in Legend and Rock Canyon cases uncertain

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Sheriff's deputies and Parker police officers are investigating two separate cases of alleged sexting at two Douglas County high schools. Both the Rock Canyon and Legend high school investigations remain open, though a letter sent to Legend parents said authorities have identified the originator of the sexually explicit images circulated there.

“However, concerns remain as there is evidence that the images were shared with others,” according to the Legend letter.

No arrests have been made in the Rock Canyon investigation, which opened Nov. 21, according to Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ron Hanavan.

“Even though they've done a tremendous amount of investigation, they're trying to determine how many people are involved,” Hanavan said, “so it's still ongoing.”

Parker Police were notified of the case Dec. 2, according to the LHS parent letter.

In both cases, officers are asking for parents' help.

“The Parker Police Department is asking parents to review the content of their student's devices,” according to the letter. “Please look in the photos, camera rolls, and any third party apps such as Snap Chat, Instagram or cloud storage which may have been utilized for image and video storage.”

Parents who discover videos, images, texts, apps, emails, or other communications that may be evidence of criminal conduct or victimization of a child are urged to call Parker police at 303-805-6911.

Hanavan also encouraged parents to look at their student's phone and open all applications.

“The overwhelmingly important message to parents as well as students is: Be aware of what you're doing,” Hanavan said. “Don't take the picture and don't forward the picture. The reality is, you could be committing a crime.

“Those pictures truly victimize an individual and make a permanent, electronic record. That's why law enforcement takes it so seriously.”

The school district issued a statement the afternoon of Dec. 8.

“Safety, including online safety, is the number one priority in the Douglas County School District,” spokeswoman Paula Hans wrote in an email. “Concerns regarding sexting have come to our attention. We take these reports very seriously and are cooperating with law enforcement. DCSD is committed to partnering with our parents and law enforcement to ensure a safe learning environment for students.”

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