CHARLESTON, S.C.—A Georgia man has sued South Carolina military college The Citadel and a former cadet of the school, Andrew Smith, accusing the institution and the individual with gross negligence after his 17-year-old daughter’s name and mobile telephone number were allegedly posted to a porn site by the cadet. The lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 14 on behalf of Randy Upton and his daughter, Kelsey Upton, also accuses Smith of invasion of privacy and defamation.
“According to the suit, Smith posted the name and contact information of Upton's daughter next to a photo of a naked woman on the website sextingpics.com,” reported a local ABC News affiliate. “Upton's daughter appeared before The Citadel Commandant's Board on March 21, 2011. At that meeting, the suit makes note that Andrew Smith apologized for his action.”
The school apparently disciplined Smith, but was unable to say what the punishment was because of privacy provisions contained in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), but a lawyer for the school, Dawes Cooke said it cooperated completely with the family and could only state that the Smith was no longer enrolled at The Citadel.
"They (The Citadel) did take appropriate action," he said, adding that the institution would defend itself rigorously in court.
The action by Smith has had serious repercussions for his daughter, said Upton, who alleges that the family learned the placement of Kelsey's name and number on the site next to a photo of a naked woman who resembled her when a 55-year-old man from Iowa later sent her a text message.
“Since November 15, 2010,” the complaint reads, “-------- and her family have been living in fear that has consumed her life and destroyed her sense of safety within her home, her community and society at large. This fear is directly attributable to defendant Smith's placement of -------- personal information on a pornographic website and defendant Citadel's failure to take any steps to ensure such placement could not, or would not happen."
Upton, a former investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and his daughter are now working to make it a crime in the state to place personal information about a minor on a porn site.
The site in question contains a 2257 link that states, “All models, actors, actresses and other persons that appear in any visual depiction of actual sexually explicit conduct appearing or otherwise contained in this Website were over the age of eighteen years at the time of the creation of such depictions.”