"I never thought they would get out," the unidentified woman said of the sexting photos she sent to her boyfriend at the time. "I never thought anyone would see them."
The woman spoke to 9Wants to Know with the intent of preventing teens from making the same mistake. She said her bitter ex-boyfriend shared her nude photos with students several years ago when she was a student at Standley Lake High School.
The photos caused deep shame and embarrassment and destroyed her social life at school, the woman said. Depression led to suicide attempts.
"I tried cutting myself. I tried [strangling] myself," she said. "I thought that was the easiest and best way for me to get away from everything. I never went to sporting events. I missed my junior and senior prom because I didn't want to be around everybody."
A recent study by the University of Texas published in July found 28 percent of teens have texted a nude photo of themselves.
"We do think it is prevalent behavior and on top of that, we do think it's a pretty good indicator of sexual behavior," said Dr. Jeff Temple who conducted the study out the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
The study also found around 60 percent of teens have been asked to send a nude photo. "They were relatively bothered by being asked; girls substantially more so than boys," said Dr. Temple.
"They ask for a face shot and the next question would be, 'Could I have a full body shot?'" One teen said while describing how she was pressured into sending a photo.
Sexting along the Front Range
9Wants to Know spent weeks analyzing sexting numbers from prosecutors and police and found most juvenile sexting cases don't end up in court even though they are often treated as serious sex crimes at first.
In Douglas County, investigators handled 108 sexting cases since January of 2011. The Douglas County Sheriff's Department reported it handled 20 cases during the same time period. Other metro-area counties do not keep track of sexting cases, which often begin as serious sex crimes.
When sexting is discovered by school officials, teens are often subject to police interrogations, threats of criminal charges that can land them on the sex offender registry, and search warrants.
According to district attorney offices in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties, most sexting cases are referred to juvenile diversion programs that teens agree to attend to avoid prosecution.
In a case that made headlines out of Standley Lake High School this past spring, 9Wants to Know has learned two teens charged with sexual exploitation of a minor will also avoid prosecution by attending juvenile diversion classes.
The teens were accused of spreading a video of a sex-act involving a female student and were charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.
The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office told 9Wants to Know the teens' internet and cell phone use are being closely monitored as part of the deal they made with prosecutors. The teens, according to the DA's office, are considered "low-risk."
Have a comment or tip for investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola? Call him at 303-871-1425 or e-mail him
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