A bizarre and disturbing incident is playing out in Kentucky, where a star basketball player has been charged in connection with a video of a nude minor in his school's locker room and sharing the video to a host of other teenagers.
As first reported by the Evansville Courier & Press and a variety of other Indiana and Kentucky news outlets, 18-year-old Henderson County (Ky.) High senior basketball player Gavont Baker has been charged with video voyeurism and unlawful transaction with a minor in connection with a video of a nude teenager which was filmed in the Henderson locker room.
According to Evansville NBC affiliate WFIE, the video shows a number of the players "horsing around" and whipping each other with towels in the locker room when one of the players' towels fell off. Left exposed, he was filmed in the nude on video that was captured on a cell phone. It has yet to be announced whether authorities believe that Baker filmed the video or simply passed it on to other teenagers.
While that video may seem relatively innocuous for felony charges, because the victim is a minor -- and because the clip was transmitted to as many as 30 other teens -- the Henderson Police Department was left with few options but to pursue it as a criminal case.
In the meantime, Henderson Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Richmond told the Courier & Press that four other juvenile members of the Henderson basketball team are also being investigated and could be charged in connection with the video.
While Baker was released on his own recognizance shortly after being arrested on Sunday, he has made brief comments about his alleged involvement in the incident on Twitter, both questioning "why did this have to happen?" and offering up a shout out to "everybody supporting me, it means a lot to me….I love y'all!"
According to Evansville NBC affiliate WFIE, Baker was kicked off the basketball team after he was charged, with the other four involved students also punished on the eve of the forthcoming playoffs. Future discipline could also keep Baker from participating in his second sport, track and field, in which he is a promising sprinter.
Naturally, those concerns are distant when compared to the other troubles Baker would face if convicted of the two Class D felonies he has been charged with.
In the meantime, Baker has emerged as a poster boy of sorts for the risks inherent anytime horseplay occurs in the locker room. With camera phones abundant -- and with the natural tendency for teenagers to share everything -- any kind of risque action brings an inherent risk of future punishment. Unfortunately for Baker and some of his teammates, those factors could now alter the course of his future in ways he never imagined possible.
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- Henderson Police Department