Minnehaha Co. Sheriff’s Office Sees ‘Cases And Cases’ Of Sexting In Schools: ‘It’s almost becoming problematic.’

Following the arrest of an 18-year-old Baltic man this week, the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office is warning teenagers about the dangers of social media. The Sheriff’s Office says it’s not unusual for them to deal with extortion cases involving nude photos and teens.

“Be aware that it can be very harmful if you send pictures of yourself to somebody and they can use it for whatever they want,” said Minnehaha Co. Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jason Gearman.

The Sheriff’s Office says Nicholas Schmidt was arrested Wednesday thanks to a group of people who alerted authorities of a possible victim. They say they learned that the victim sent hundreds of nude photos to Schmidt over the course of the last year.

“This was the result it was kind of a disturbing trend that was going on and there may be more people out there that have encountered the same thing,” Gearman said.

According to an arrest affidavit, the 16-year-old girl told authorities that Schmidt would ask her to send him photos on SnapChat. Schmidt would get mad if she refused and would threaten to disperse the pictures of her at school. The affidavit says he also threatened to disperse them if she didn’t perform sexual acts on him.

“It may be not harmful at the time, but to give an example of a boyfriend and girlfriend dating, sending pictures back and forth, and then a major break up, you know, these pictures are still out there and can be used,” Gearman said.

Gearman says they’ve also seen cases where photos were sent to the wrong person, and the recipient threatened to send out pictures if they weren’t paid.

Gearman said, “We get case after case after case of pictures being sent in schools. It’s almost becoming problematic for us.”

Gearman says this case should also serve as a reminder to parents to educate their children and know what they’re doing on social media. His best advice… is to not do it all.

Gearman says it’s against state law that prohibits juvenile sexting, however, Schmidt was charged with three counts of child pornography and rape. A judge set his bond at $10,000 cash.

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