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Ex-Whitnall student charged with coercing girls to send nude photos

Nov. 5, 2009

A former Whitnall High School student accused of coercing teen girls into sending him sexually explicit photos of themselves has been charged with 10 felonies.

The charges are filed in Children's Court. But based on their severity, the 14-year-old boy could be prosecuted as an adult, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Torbenson said Thursday.

The boy, who is in custody, is scheduled to appear in Children's Court on Nov. 17, Torbenson said. It could be known at that time whether a plea bargain is possible or whether the case will go to trial, he said.

According to Torbenson, the boy has pleaded not guilty to:

• Second-degree sexual assault of a child, for alleged sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl.

• Possession of child pornography.

• Six counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

• Two counts of threats to communicate derogatory information.

According to Greenfield police, the boy used threats to get at least six girls to send him nude and semi-nude photos of themselves through their cell phones and over the Internet. Another girl apparently sent photos voluntarily.

Of the seven girls, five attend Whitnall, which serves Hales Corners and parts of Greenfield and Franklin; one attends Nathan Hale High School in West Allis; and one attends Hamilton High School in Lisbon, police said.

The boy obtained nude photos by telling girls he would spread rumors about them, police said. He also told some girls that unless they sent him nude photos of themselves, he would distribute nude photos of other girls that he already possessed, according to police.

The boy was a freshman before being expelled last month by the school board after the allegations surfaced.

The Whitnall case is the most serious incident to surface in southeast Wisconsin involving the sending of nude photos since 12 felonies were filed in February against Anthony Stancl, 19, of New Berlin.

In a case that has gained national attention, Stancl is accused of using the Internet site Facebook to coerce male schoolmates into performing sex acts for him. He allegedly posed as a girl on Facebook and had the boys send him nude photos of themselves.

Stancl is scheduled to appear in Waukesha County Circuit Court Tuesday for a motions hearing. His lawyer, Craig Kuhary, is asking for a change of venue.

Stancl's trial is set for Jan. 19.

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