An unspecified number of juveniles in Casper face criminal charges for allegedly disseminating nude images of other minors, according to Casper police.

"It's become quite an issue as of late," Sgt. Scott Jones told K2 Radio News in a phone interview Friday.

Jones explained that girls have allowed themselves to be photographed in the nude, and some of those photos have been disseminated among other school-age children. Jones estimated that police are aware of three victims.

"We've had no reports of anybody being [forcibly photographed]. Clearly, it's a voluntary thing on their part," Jones added.

Police officers typically are prohibited from identifying juveniles who are the subject of criminal investigation.

Should a boy take a photograph of a nude girl, Jones said, that wouldn't necessarily constitute a crime. However, instances wherein a boy shares that photograph with his friends electronically are criminal in nature under Wyoming law.

"That's the situation we're looking at," Jones continued. He says the juveniles who take the photographs and disseminate them are the ones facing charges.

K2 Radio News reached out to Jones for comment on a number of reports filed at Dean Morgan Junior High School last week. However, Jones emphasized, the activity is not necessarily centered around Dean Morgan students.

"It's not school-centric. It's just a bunch of juveniles in Casper," Jones said. "We respond to a specific school because a kid has said, 'Hey, I've got these pictures,' but the pictures are actually being taken somewhere else."

"The kid who gets a ticket may be in a completely different school, or even be out in the county," Jones added.

Jones said that some students who have received nude photographs have reported the issue to school officials.

In 2017, the Wyoming Legislature passed a law which created penalties for minors who disseminate or possess nude images of another minor.

The cases Jones described would fall under second-degree dissemination of a nude image of a minor, which is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to three months in a juvenile detention facility.

Jones implored minors to consider the consequences before allowing themselves to be photographed in the nude.

"Those photos never go away," he said. "They'd better keep that in mind."

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