Is it just a high school rumor or could it be a crime?
Some students say they've received sexually explicit images of an underage classmate involved in a sex act but Radnor Township Police say it will take a high-tech specialist to figure out if the rumors are true.
Radnor Township Police confirmed publicly on Thursday that they are investigating allegations that Radnor High School students stole a phone from another student and may have sent out a sex video they found on the phone.
"We've yet to determine how much information the smart phone contains," said Lt. Chris Flanagan. "We'll be doing that with a specialist."
The investigation started with a 911 call from the school Wednesday morning. Two students got into a fight over the allegations about the stolen phone. When police got there and started asking questions, they found out about the sex video rumors.
At least three Radnor High School students are at the center of the investigation, sources in Radnor exclusively told NBC10’s Rosemary Connors (@RosemaryConnors).
Detectives have the phone in question but can't look at anything on it because it's password protected. But the cyber specialist they're calling in will be able to tell them what is or was on the phone (in case something was deleted) and track the contents if anything was sent out. They were also getting search warrants to confiscate the phones of other students.
Depending on what the video shows and what the investigation reveals, up to five students could face charges as serious as child pornography, according to sources.
“It’s horrifying. First of all that it’s out there to begin with and that kids would take somebody else’s phone and distribute something,” said Radnor parent Michelle Cuff. “They just don’t realize.”
Some students at the school are aware of the allegations and even saw the video in question. Some say they take cautions before posting anything online.
“I never curse, write anything inappropriate, nothing explicit because I know it could always come back to haunt me -- e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, texting, anything,” said student Caroline Bereznak.
That's a lesson police also hoped would be learned. "We want people to learn from a bad situation that you have to really think about what you’re doing before you take that action, Flanagan said.
School administrators say state confidentiality laws prevent them from revealing any information about any students involved in the investigation.
“Due to state and federal confidentiality provisions and the fact that the individuals are minors, the Radnor Township School District is referring all inquiries to Police Superintendent William Colarulo,” said a statement from the school.