The Teton County Sheriff’s Office is currently involved in an active investigation regarding the online harassment of teen girls in the county.
Last week, the city of Choteau and Choteau Public Schools shared a message on Facebook regarding the situation. The unidentified individual is not believed to be from Teton County and is targeting young girls around the age of 12 and older. According to the post, at least two girls have been targeted so far.
“We fear that this (sic) is sort of crime has spread to more children and we will work cooperatively to end this threat,” said the city of Choteau in the post.
Officials from across Teton County, including school officials, are responding by hosting a variety of assemblies and meetings as a means to educate students, staff and parents of the “very real threat the adults and our children are facing.”
Power School District and Dutton-Brady Schools will hold a joint assembly for the public on Thursday evening regarding the investigation. The assembly will be held in Dutton-Brady’s gym at 7 p.m. Masks and physical distancing will be required of attendees. For those who would prefer to attend Thursday’s assembly virtually, please visit power.k12.mt.us online for more information.
Several assemblies have been held in Choteau among different student groups already. Fairfield Public Schools has also hosted meetings with students as well.
“My goal is to make our daughters aware of this threat and make them aware that there is a wolf in sheep’s clothing among them (online),” said Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Grove in a statement.
The individual has reportedly targeted several junior high aged girls in the county and allegedly manipulated girls to “say and do things against their will,” such as compromising images or videos. School officials have indicated that the individual establishes contact with the girls through Snapchat and blackmails or threatens them into sending potentially compromising content.
Law enforcement hopes that the widespread community messaging through assemblies will help identify other potential victims and allow them the opportunity to report the incident.
“If this happened to two here in Teton County, then there is a good chance there are many more,” wrote the city of Choteau in the post. “The hard truth is that this ‘wolf’ is preying on the fact our children don’t know these threats are among them.”
So far, there have been no confirmed reports in Cascade County that are directly related to the ongoing incident in Teton County, according to Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter.
“However, parents always need to be vigilant and check their children’s social media and internet history,” said Slaughter in an email. “These crimes literally occur everyday in Cascade County.”
Skylar Rispens reports on education and breaking news for the Great Falls Tribune. To contact her with comments or story ideas please email her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @skylar_rispens or on Facebook at Skylar Rispens.
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This article originally appeared on Great Falls Tribune: Dutton-Brady, Power schools to host public assembly regarding online harassment in Teton County