Twitter users who reposted 'Slane Girl' sex act snaps at Eminem gig could face prosecution
Published 22/08/2013 | 00:00
Twitter users who shared images of a 17-year-old girl performing a sex act at an Eminem gig may have committed a criminal offence, it has been claimed.
The schoolgirl is at the centre of an online storm after web users posted explicit photographs of her with two men at the rapper's Slane Castle concert.
The pictures went viral within minutes of appearing online.
It has been claimed that the person who uploaded the images is from west Belfast.
Meanwhile, the girl and her family have been left devastated.
Sources said the girl, thought to be from the west of Ireland, was so distraught that she had to be sedated in hospital, but has since been released.
Garda are investigating and have spoken to both the girl and her family.
The teen has yet to be formally interviewed by detectives but is expected to make a statement before the end of the week.
A senior source said: "Gardai will sit down with her and hopefully get as detailed a statement as possible going through everything as far as possible from A to Z that happened her at the concert in Slane last weekend.
"After this has happened the investigation may well be upgraded, but of course that all depends on what she has to say – as it stands there still has not been a formal complaint in relation to the internet photos."
Former Armagh GAA player Jarlath Burns, who is a child protection teacher, warned there could be repercussions for those sharing the explicit images.
"It is actually an offence to view a lewd picture involving an underage child – it is a paedophilic offence," he said.
Mr Burns urged people to take down the images. The incident took place in full view of gig-goers at Slane on Saturday.
Cliona Saidlear, policy and communications director with Rape Crisis Network Ireland, said the people who filmed the incident and shared it should be ashamed.
Ian Power, communications manager with youth group Spunout, said that the pictures should never have been posted online. "Everyone has made mistakes in their lives, but not everyone has had it so horrifically documented in such a mortifying way," he said.
Social media sites Facebook and Twitter and photo website Instagram have moved to try and block access to the images.
A spokesperson for Twitter said it did not tolerate "child sexual exploitation".
"When we are made aware of links to images of or content promoting child sexual exploitation they will be removed from the site without further notice and reported to the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children," he said.
The age at which someone is considered a child in terms of explicit images is not necessarily the same as the age of consent. In Northern Ireland, the age of consent is 16, but indecent images of children relate to anyone under 18. In the Republic of Ireland, the age of consent is 17 and indecent images relate to under 17s.