Editor’s Note: We have chosen not to publish the school involved in an effort to protect the identity of the victim.
MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas- A high school student in Midland County was arrested in January after investigators said he sent explicit photos of another student via “AirDrop”. Lee Escobar, 17, was charged with Publishing or Threatening to Publish Intimate Visual Materials, a felony.
According to court records, on Jan. 19, school district officers were called to campus to investigate after administrators said someone sent a topless photo of a student to other students without the girl’s permission. The teen said that she and her classmates were in the auditorium for drug testing when someone sent the photos via Apple’s AirDrop technology to anyone who accepted the request.
According to the student, she said she used Snapchat to send the photo to several male students and wasn’t aware that any of the recipients had kept the photo. Messages and pictures sent via Snapchat will, typically, self-delete but can be saved by taking a screenshot of the message.
Investigators spoke with several male students who received the photos and learned that Escobar still had the photo in his possession. According to Lee, another female student asked him to share the photo with her in order to “expose” the victim. It is unclear from an affidavit if Escobar intended to send the photos to every student with an iPhone or if that was unintentional.
Escobar was arrested following that interview and was taken to the Midland County Detention Center where he was later released on an unknown bond. Area law enforcement agencies are now reminding teens that sending explicit photos via an app or text message, or publishing those photos in any online forum, does not guarantee privacy. Once you send a photo, you lose control of it, and it can later be shared with anyone.
(KMID/KPEJ contributed to this report)