The AP reports that 18-year-old Wisconsin resident Anthony Stancl has been accused of "posing as a girl on Facebook, tricking at least 31 male classmates into sending him naked photos of themselves and then blackmailing some for sex acts."
Stancl was charged on Wednesday with "five counts of child enticement, two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child, two counts of third-degree sexual assault, possession of child pornography, repeated sexual assault of the same child, and making a bomb threat." With regard to the bomb threat charge, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported that Stancl "left public trails on blogs and social networking sites to document a bomb threat at his school in mid-November."
Stancl's defense attorney, Craig Kuhary, said that his client intends to plead not guilty to the charges and would like to make a plea deal with the district attorney. Kuhary said, "It's too early in the case for me to make a statement, other than the fact at some point we are going to go into events that had taken place earlier that might have had some impact on what he did here."
The charges levied against Stancl reportedly leave him facing up to 300 years in prison, according to a FOX report. Still, this is the latest in a string of concerning reports on teens committing criminal offenses involving exchanges of nude photos on the internet or via cell phone. As noted in a blog last month regarding the practice of "sexting," teens taking nude or risque pictures of themselves and transmitting them to others may expose themselves to serious criminal, as well as social consequences. These latest charges in the Stancl case, as well as the likely trauma suffered by the teen victims, further emphasize such dangers, and appear to point to an increasing need for parents to take an active role in addressing the issue. Below are links to more information, as well as a survey that includes tips to help parents talk to their teens.