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Silicon Valley high school students used a Dropbox account to share sexually explicit photos, police say

Police said they are investigating a file-sharing account that was allegedly used by Bay Area teens to share inappropriate images.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Students from multiple Silicon Valley high schools shared and distributed sexually explicit images of other teenagers via an online file-sharing account, police said.

Mountain View police have been investigating the Dropbox file-sharing account, which has been frozen to prevent users from uploading, sharing and downloading images, department spokeswoman Katie Nelson said.

The police probe into the file-sharing account, which was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, was launched in late August when administrators at Mountain View High School learned about it, she said.

During what authorities described as a meticulous investigation, detectives discovered male and female teens from various high schools accessed the Dropbox account to distribute the inappropriate images.

“The images were uploaded to the Dropbox account and then access to the account was shared among students,” Nelson said.

Police declined to say how many students and schools were involved in the file-sharing operation.

The Mountain View Los Altos District and the police department sent a joint letter to parents on Monday, addressing concerns about the file-sharing operation.

District Supt. Jeff Harding and police Chief Max Bosel said the investigation was wrapping up. Police plan to present the case to the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office for review by the end of this year. Police have contacted and interviewed all people and possible victims involved in the file-sharing operation, officials said. Counseling was also offered.

“Unfortunately, this case has affected some of our students, and it once again reinforces the need to educate both students and parents on safety measures surrounding social media and online activity,” they wrote in the letter. “We are in a new age of communication and technology. We are committed to educating our students to be good digital citizens and partnering with our parents to keep our students safe.”

To read the article in Spanish, click here

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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