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Sunday 20 October 2019

Deputy principal 'a victim of revenge porn' after naked images circulated by students

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Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

Gardaí suspect a 'revenge porn' motive behind an incident at a school in which naked images of a staff member were circulated by students.

It emerged that revealing pictures of a deputy principal were shared by students at the east-coast secondary school. It is understood that the images were sent to an adult before coming into the possession of a student, who forwarded them on to fellow pupils.

There is no wrong-doing suspected by the staff member, but sources said gardaí were ready to launch a criminal investigation into anyone who circulated the images. However, gardaí have not yet received a complaint in relation to the matter.

Sources said any juveniles found to have been distributing the images will also face potential prosecution. The circulation of sexually explicit images without a person's consent is commonly referred to as 'revenge porn', and does not have any specific legislation outlawing it at this stage. Currently, such offences can be dealt with as harassment under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.

A senior source said that gardaí would potentially bring criminal prosecutions against juveniles if there was sufficient evidence of them circulating the images of the deputy principal.

"Gardaí have not yet received a complaint in relation to this matter, but have been made aware of it through media reports. If gardaí received a complaint or an official report then they will be ready to act, but this has not happened yet," the source said.

"After the intended recipient, or any other person for that matter, circulates this image without the consent of the person then they are committing a criminal offence."

When contacted for comment by the Irish Independent yesterday, a member of staff at the school said that no one was available.

Irish Independent

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