Sex Video Leads To Charges Against Circleville Students

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Two Circleville High School students are facing felony charges in Pickaway County Juvenile Court after creating a video of themselves in a sex act with a 14-year-old girl last year.

The boys, now ages 17 and 18, were charged Sept. 25 in juvenile court on one count each of pandering obscenity involving a minor, a fourth-degree felony. Their attorneys filed written denials to the charges, and their cases now will progress to the pretrial stage later this month. 

According to Chief Wayne Gray, a fellow student overheard the boys discussing the video and reported it to a school official about three weeks ago. Officials contacted the Circleville Police Department, which began an investigation.

Heather Armstrong, assistant county prosecutor, said police were able to get a warrant for the camera, where they discovered the video.

Armstrong said investigators believe the sexual activity between the girl and the two boys was consensual, but that the girl was unaware the incident was captured on video until the investigation began.

The maximum sentence for a fourth-degree felony in juvenile court could be incarceration at the Department of Youth Services, Armstrong said. The sentence also could include a requirement to register as a sex offender, although that requirement is not mandatory.

Kirk McMahon, superintendent of Circleville City Schools, said the district acted in accordance with its status as a mandatory reporter of suspected child pornography or child abuse.

“As soon as we found out, we all got together and notified police,” McMahon said. “The police asked us not to begin our own investigation until they could conduct theirs, so we agreed to do that.”

McMahon said the district was officially notified of the charges Monday, and they will begin their own internal investigation Tuesday.

While there is no indication the incident took place on school property or involved any school activities, McMahon said the boys could possibly face sanctions at the school if the internal investigation reveals their behavior has violated school policy.