WEST SACRAMENTO -- One local woman is speaking out after a nude picture of herself, as a minor, appeared on a social media page that targets and posts naked pictures of Sacramento-area females, often times minors.
For Jazlyn Torres, it's difficult to put into words exactly why three years ago she felt compelled to take a nude picture and send it to a boy.
"You feel like you'll gain the guy's trust or you'll gain his interest in you, and it's really hard to do that. And then you feel like you gain interest, so you send these pictures, and you think, 'oh they're not going to send them to anyone. It's going to stay private, and it's going to be OK,' and it's not,” said Torres.
Just a few days ago, that picture resurfaced publicly on an Instagram account dedicated to posting nude pictures of Sacramento-area women and young girls, many of them in high school.
A quick search shows multiple accounts similar to the one where Torres’ picture appeared. Some solicit pictures, asking that if you’ve been sent a nude picture, pass it along to them and they'll post it. Like Torres, many girls who appear in the photos never expected their picture to go public on social media. The account where Torres’ picture appeared has more than 200 followers.
"For a girl’s confidence, it just tears them down, and it makes them feel terrible when they see all these pictures posted on there,” said Torres.
Sadly, Torres says this isn’t a new phenomenon. During the four years she spent in high school in West Sacramento, dozens of social media accounts have been created to shame or expose young girls with nude pictures.
"You feel powerless because they have your pictures and they can do whatever they want with them. You can't make them delete it,” said Torres.
"It's criminal, it's criminal behavior,” said Tom Kando, who has studied and written about juvenile criminal behavior for decades.
Possessing or sharing nude pictures of a minor, even if you're a minor yourself, is illegal. Kando says the Internet and social media have taken the issue to a whole new level.
“This new technology has totally changed the environment, for young people in particular,” said Kando.
Torres filed a criminal complaint with West Sacramento police. They didn't want to speak to FOX40 on camera Sunday, but say they're aware of the issue and of the social media accounts posting these pictures.
Detectives have been assigned to look into this case according to Sgt. Roger Kinney, who spoke with FOX40 briefly over the phone.
"You're talking about teenagers, and I think you need to start holding people responsible,” said Kando.
“I don't understand, like, what goes through people's heads thinking that this is OK. Because it's not,” said Torres.
She acknowledges she made a mistake taking the photo but says no one should be permanently and publicly humiliated for an error in judgment she made as a kid.