Houston-area family takes legal action following online comments

HOUSTON - Some comments on a photo online have a Houston-area family taking legal action.

It started with an Instagram account featuring Klein High School students in racy photos and suggestive comments about classmates.

The account popped up last week and included the word "Klein" in its title. KPRC isn't revealing its full name because part of it could be considered offensive.

Shellie Tingle-Esquivel said one of the photos posted on the account was that of her 16-year-old daughter, accompanied by inappropriate comments.

"She was crying and upset. I think for the most part she was in a state of shock about why this was occurring to her," said Tingle-Esquivel.

In a request for a temporary restraining order, attorneys for the 16-year-old named seven juveniles, saying the defendants "participated in making several malicious, untrue, suggestive, derogatory, inflammatory and sexually explicit statements regarding the teen."

"A judge granted the temporary restraining order Friday, forbidding the seven juveniles from posting anything else about the 16-year-old,"attorneys said.

Tingle-Esquivel and her husband, Reymund Esquivel, are now moving forward with a civil lawsuit against the seven teenagers and their parents, claiming the defendants' actions constitute libelous and defamatory conduct. They said they are hoping to raise awareness about cyberbullying.

"It's not just something you see on the news. It could be happening to your child, and your child may not be telling you about it," said Reymund Esquivel.

Attorney Tej Paranjpe said he and his clients are still trying to determine whether they will seek damages from the defendants and their parents. He said if any damages were awarded they would be given to anti-bullying programs.

"The idea isn't to make any profit for this family. The idea is to make everything stop," said Paranjpe.

The family says the photo of their daughter wasn't necessarily suggestive but other photos showed nudity that could be considered child porn. Those photos have been reported to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

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