Local/State

High school student charged with sex crimes

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Jack Britt High School student has been arrested for allegedly showing videos and photos of underage girls engaging in sex acts.

Cumberland County Sheriff's detectives say 16-year-old Jarvis Jermaine Williams, Jr. showed the photos to a classmate on his cell phone, prompting a school resource officer to confiscate his phone.

In the female student's written statement obtained by ABC11 Eyewitness News, she told school officials that Williams had marijuana, but none was found.

She went on to say he showed her a sex video on his phone of himself with another girl. But court records say the identities of the people in the video are unknown. It's also unclear who shot the nude images and sent them to Williams.

"In one situation, there was a female that was photographed and those photos were sent to this young man's cell phone, who actually reported that he did have photos of her," Cumberland County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Debbie Tanna said. "We don't know who took them and it doesn't matter according to how the law is written. If you're in possession of them you're guilty."

Williams has been charged with multiple counts of 2nd degree sexual exploitation of a minor, 3rd degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and disseminating materials harmful to minors.

On Wednesday, Williams made his first court appearance. He was released from the Cumberland County Detention Center to the custody of his parents under a $50,000 unsecured bond.

His family says they plan to fight the charges.

"You can clearly see pictures that the young ladies are taking in the mirror with the cameras, their cell phones in their hands," she said. "He didn't download them. They were sent to him and for that he could be serving years in jail and it could mess up the rest of his life."

However, they say they agree with Cumberland County authorities that the case is a serious lesson for all parents and teenagers.

"If your daughter sends the picture and a young man gets in trouble for receiving it, the young lady needs to get in trouble as well," Fortune said. "I think it would stop, then we won't have that problem anymore if both parties take responsibilities for their actions receiving it and sending it."

Meanwhile, Williams is not only in trouble with the law, but also his school. He was suspended for 45 days and forced to attend an alternative school.

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cumberland county, sex offense, local/state
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