Upskirt videos, nude photos: Vancouver teen arrested

Investigators looking at 15 phones from Union High students

A smartphone and computer (Public Domain Pictures, Ian L)
A smartphone and computer (Public Domain Pictures, Ian L)

VANCOUVER. Wash. (KOIN) — A Union High school student who reported her social media accounts were hacked led to the arrest of a 17-year-old and an ongoing investigation that involves more than a dozen cellphones.

The investigation began September 18 when a girl student told the school resource officer her Snapchat account was hacked by a person who found nude photos she kept in a private section of the account. The hacker then shared them with other students, the girl told police.

Union High School in Vancouver, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)
Union High School in Vancouver, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)

Investigators spoke with other students from the school. In the course of their investigation, they got a search warrant for a student’s phone, and a number of upskirt videos were found on that phone.

Court documents showed those videos were recorded between May 6, 2016 and September 14, 2017 and were taken inside Union High School. Specifically, the videos were taken in classrooms, hallways, lunchtime and other locations in the school. The teen is seen in a few of the videos “and he appears to be the person filming it.”

The 17-year-old is now charged with 15 counts of voyeurism. He appeared in juvenile court Monday and is expected to be arraigned on the charges October 9. The teen is not at the school at this time, spokesperson Gail Spolar told KOIN 6 News. Court documents show he is under house arrest and is forbidden from having contact with the school.

The Robert L. Harris Juvenile Justice Center in Vancouver, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)
The Robert L. Harris Juvenile Justice Center in Vancouver, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)

But authorities are still trying to determine who is responsible for hacking the student’s nude photos, which launched this case.

“With this investigation we’re in the very early stages,” said Vancouver police spokesperson Kim Kapp. “There are potentially multiple people that we’ll be investigating as well. Multiple other charges could possibly come out of this.”

She said investigators are reviewing 15 different phones and still trying to figure out who is and is not involved. But, she said “everybody did the right thing in order to get this going so we could do an investigation in a very timely manner.”

Kapp also reminded people that there is no safe storage place for private information on social media.

“I think we all need to be very aware that electronic digital images or information isn’t 100% secure, so whatever is stored in various places, we all need to be aware it can potentially be accessed,” she told KOIN 6 News.

What is unusual, Kapp said, “is that these photos were on a social media website in a private area, and then someone outside that account was able to hack into that.”

She also stressed the case is ongoing.

“There’s a lot more to this investigation that will likely unfold here in the next days or even weeks.”