DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. — A Virginia mother got a shock when she went through her daughter’s cell phone and tablet this week. In fact, the pictures she discovered were so disturbing that she turned the girl in to sheriff’s deputies.
According to FOX31 Denver sister station WTVR, the parents discovered their 13-year-old daughter, who is about to enter the eighth-grade, had been sending and receiving naked pictures of other teens using her tablet.
And the deeper they dug, the girl’s mother said, the worse it got.
“What scares me is this is much bigger than we realize,” the mother said. “How many others are doing this that we don’t realize?”
WTVR did not revealing the mother’s name in an effort to protect her family’s identity.
The parents became aware of what their 13-year-old was doing when their other child heard voices in her bedroom around 4 a.m.
The parents then confiscated the girl’s electronics.
“Looking through the phone and the tablet we did find sexual pictures and conversations that were very inappropriate for her age,” the mother said.
While none of the nude photo’s showed their daughter with anyone else, there were pictures being sent back and forth with other boys.
“Everybody wanted to be (my daughter’s) friend, because according to these people, ‘she was cool now,’” the mother said.
But the parents also made a startling discovery: Several of the teens their daughter was talking appeared to be high school seniors.
“We believe them to be 17-18ish. Definitely older than her,” the mother said. “And they did request to have sex.”
The parents said that they called in the sheriff’s office to protect their daughter even though she could face criminal charges.
“We did this now to protect her for now and in the future,” the mother said.
Virginia Commonwealth attorney Lisa Caruso said there are other options for the teen — not necessarily going through the court system.
“What’s called diversion in the juvenile justice system,” Caruso said. “That’s a 12 week program and it would be group classes. The parents would get involved and there would be some counseling,”
However, the older teens could face felony charges depending on their ages.
The mother said while some may criticize their decision to go to sheriff’s investigators, they did so out of fear. They did not want someone to see the pictures and try to find their daughter.
“What she’s facing may be harsh, but we feel it’s for her own protection,” the mother said.