WELLSTON, MO (KPLR) - A Normandy High School junior is facing child pornography charges, accused of recording a sexual act between two minors on his cell phone.
Wellston police say three students skipped class, and met in a downstairs hallway, away from the classrooms. That’s when 17-year-old Martez Young-Caldwell allegedly encouraged a 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy to engage in a sexual act.
Wellston Police Chief G. Thomas Walker says Young-Caldwell recorded a video of the sexual act on his cell phone, and then turned the camera around to show his own face: “It’s just the best evidence you can have; a picture of him, filming, and showing himself on the film.”
Walker says the incident happened June 3rd. Within a day, Normandy security confiscated the 17-year-olds phone for evidence. Young-Caldwell admitted what he did to investigators, although Walker says he didn’t seem to understand its severity, or the child pornography charges he’d face.
The Wellston chief explains, “In his thinking, 15, 16, 17, they’re all the same, and I think right now we’re living in a culture where everybody wants to put everything on YouTube, and you just can’t do that. And this was a situation where it obviously was a clear-cut violation of the law.”
At 17, Young-Caldwell can be tried as an adult. He is now being held on a $25,000 bond, charged with Promoting Child Pornography in the 2nd Degree.
“The people involved were not the only ones that saw it and that would constitute the promoting of child pornography, by showing it to someone else,” explains Walker, “The word got around to security, and they immediately investigated.”
While Young-Caldwell remains in jail, Normandy School District Spokesperson Daphne Dorsey says it’s unclear whether the other students involved will be disciplined. She explains, “We are reviewing the alleged incident. Disciplinary action will be based on our policies and procedures.”
Normandy’s school year ends on June 12th. Next year, the Wellston police chief says his officers will have an increased presence on campus, to prevent violence, and incidents like this, from interfering with learning.