Three of four Lakeville students charged with taking inappropriate photos and video at Century Middle School have pleaded guilty, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said Wednesday.
A 14-year-old boy, a 13-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl involved in the locker-room incident last month each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with privacy, a gross misdemeanor, on Tuesday in Dakota County juvenile court, Backstrom said.
A plea agreement has not been reached with the fourth teen, a 14-year-old girl.
The attorney representing that student has not been available, said Monica Jensen, a spokeswoman for the county attorney's office.
That defendant is facing gross-misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to commit interference with privacy, interference with privacy and criminal defamation.
Judge Michael Sovis sentenced the teens to a stay of adjudication, meaning they will have no criminal record if they meet all other conditions of the court. Those conditions include probation for 180 days and 30 hours of community service for each teen. Each also must attend a victim empathy class and write a letter of apology.
The judge also ordered that the students' cellphones be forfeited or that all of the inappropriate images be removed from the phones.
The court system keeps the teens' names private because they are juveniles.
According to Backstrom's office, this is how the incident unfolded at the school:
The two boys made a game of taking photos of girls' buttocks in the hallway and then forwarding them to other students. Then, in May, each boy paid $5 to one of the girls who was later charged, and one of them gave her a can of soda, to take the photograph and a video in the locker room.
The second girl who was charged took one photograph at the urging of the other girl who was charged.
The images show the two girls' lower bodies from the back, partially undressed. The photos were circulated among students, and investigators believe more than 40 students received them. After school officials learned of the incident, they suspended 16 students for violations of the school harassment policy.
Heron Marquez • 952-746-3281