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No criminal charges will be filed against the more than 100 students involved in a Colorado sexting scandal in which hundreds of explicit photos of one another were swapped "like baseball cards," prosecutors said Wednesday.
Instead, Fremont County District Attorney Thom LeDoux said he wants the case to be a learning experience for the 106 students implicated.
The students — in middle and high school — were suspended during an investigation, and because some were members of the Cañon City High School football team, school district officials canceled the last game of the season.
"Kids were doing stupid things," LeDoux said at a news conference, but added that no one was being coerced into the troubling behavior, reported NBC affiliate KOAA.
Authorities began the investigation a month ago in Cañon City, a small community southwest of Colorado Springs. District officials had learned both male and female students — some as young as in the eighth grade — were sharing nude photos of themselves or posing in their underwear. Over 350 images were counted, LeDoux said.
Prosecutors had earlier warned that such material could be considered child pornography — and result in felony charges.
But the district attorney's office said Wednesday that all of the offending images have been scrubbed. Anyone caught with explicit photos again could be subject to severe charges.
The district attorney's office said in a statement that students must "fulfill their obligations to their parents, teachers and the rest of this community to learn from this experience and to comport themselves accordingly."