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Teenager, partially undressed, secretly recorded in school bathroom

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - When Tia Stovall first saw the video of her son on social media, she knew his life would be forever changed.

“It hurts. I’m supposed to be able to protect him and I feel like in that instance, how could I have?”

Thinking he had privacy in his school’s bathroom, Stovall’s son was unaware that a fellow student was secretly recording him above the stall.

The video captured everything from her son’s waist down.

According to the police report, the student then shared the video on SnapChat.

Her son later told police that he saw several students laughing at him after watching the video.

Stovall made a video of her son, asking him how he felt about the video, and shared it with News4 Investigates.

“I said that my life was over because I know when something is put on the internet, it can’t come back off,” her son said.

“When I actually saw (the secretly recorded video) with my own eyes, I broke down and cried,” she said.

While Stovall said the student who made the recording was suspended, she wanted him criminally charged.

She researched and found a state law that reads you cannot photograph someone in a private location.

“If there was an adult, there would be no question,” Stovall said.

Courtney Lynch, assistant district attorney in Franklin County, was also ready to prosecute until she took a closer look at the law.

The law reads in order to convict someone, prosecutors must prove the recording would embarrass the victim and the person recording it got sexual gratification. In Stovall’s son’s case, the second part of the law did not apply.

“In the law, it says you have to have both. It says ‘and,” not ‘or,’” Stovall said.

Both Stovall and Lynch want that law changed.

“We feel like it would be an appropriate change to the law to cover these types of situations. It would be an easy fix,” Lynch said.

In this age of cell phones recording everything, Stovall fears what happened to her son will happen again to another child.

Stovall reached out to lawmakers from her district to try and change the wording of the law.

Rep. Iris Rudder, R-Winchester, said after speaking with Stovall she is hoping to introduce legislation to change the wording.

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Copyright 2020 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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