For adults convicted of spreading the images, a couple of years of prison time is a real possibility, Johnson said, even for first-time offenders. That conviction would also carry the label of being a registered sex offender.
“Once those images are on their phone or iPad or computer, even if they delete them, they’re in possession,” said Johnson, who handles numerous child porn cases. “They can’t wipe that off of their hard drive.”
Some Cypress Bay students were surprised that the photos remained online Friday.
BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said the agency was still working to identify the girls, and won’t request the website operator remove the page until it has confirmed that the girls are minors.
“It’s not that simple,” Coleman-Wright said. “You have to prove that a crime has been committed, that there is in fact illegal activity, before you can demand that a site be taken down.”
Cypress Bay students said at least some of the photos match the student names listed next to them, while others may not.
When it comes to academics, Cypress Bay has a stellar reputation, and the school enjoyed the rare honor of a commencement speech delivered by Vice President Joe Biden last year. But in only a decade or so of existence, Cypress Bay has had multiple sex scandals.
In 2009, police discovered a 17-year-old student using his smartphone to snap photos of girls while they were using the school restroom. Last year, police investigated a social studies teacher and wrestling coach who was accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student.
The student confirmed the romantic relationship, but said it was consensual, and she was 18 when it happened. Police did not file any criminal charges in that case.