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Originally published Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM

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Edmonds police begin inquiry over Twitter photo of teens having sex

Sex-crimes detectives are investigating an incident in which a photo of pair of Edmonds-Woodway High School students having sex with a teenage girl was sent on social media

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Edmonds police sex-crimes detectives are investigating an incident in which a pair of Edmonds-Woodway High School students were photographed having sex with a teenage girl.

The incident was revealed when another student sent out the photo on Twitter, according to police.

Police became aware of the photograph last week when they were contacted by the Edmonds School District, said police Sgt. Mark Marsh. Detectives have identified the students involved, including the boy who took the picture and tweeted it. That boy was a student from Kings High School in Shoreline, he said.

Police said the photo did not display any genitalia.

Police are investigating whether the photograph might violate child-pornography laws or possibly involve rape. The boys were 17 and 18 at the time, and the girl was believed to be 15, Marsh said.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe said Tuesday his office will wait to see what the police investigation shows before deciding whether criminal charges are warranted.

“There are far too many unknowns” at this point, Roe said.

In general, however, Roe said that the ages of everyone involved at the time the photograph was taken could be a determining factor as to the charges, if any, the boys might face.

Third-degree rape of a child, for instance, requires only that the victim be 14 or 15 and that the suspect be more than 48 months older, and it must involve sexual intercourse, he said. The victim’s consent is not a defense, Roe said.

DJ Jakala, spokeswoman for the Edmonds School District, said the district went to police as soon as it learned of the incident, even though it did not happen on campus.

The district has disciplined some students “to the extent this issue came on campus via social media and impacted students at school” but that the district’s ability to respond is limited.

“Some are expecting the school to police or parent teen behaviors that happened outside of school, off school grounds and outside of the school day,” Jakala said. “In this instance, we are limited in our jurisdiction.”

Some news outlets reported the two Edmonds-Woodway students have been suspended.

Mike Carter: mcarter@seattletimes.com or 206-464-3706

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