A US teen is facing multiple counts of indecent exposure after school officials in an Arizona town discovered he had exposed himself in a football team picture that was published in his school’s yearbook.
Hunter Osborn, a 19-year-old student at Red Mountain High School in the town of Mesa, was arrested over the weekend and told police that he exposed his penis as a prank after being dared by a teammate, US media reported.
The photo of the football team was published in the school yearbook, 250 copies of which were distributed to students, as well as the football programme before officials became aware of the incident.
“The district is dismayed by the actions of the students involved in the photograph,” said Mesa Public Schools spokeswoman Helen Hollands.
“Their behavior does not reflect the values of the Red Mountain High School or Mesa Public Schools.”
She said 3,400 copies of the yearbook had been printed and had now been recalled so that the picture could be edited. An internal probe was underway to determine why the prank wasn’t noticed before the yearbook went to print.
“It is a small picture and a small part of a small picture so it’s not as blatant or obvious as some stories may lead to believe,” Hollands said.
Police said Osborn is facing 69 counts of indecent exposure in accordance with the number of students and staff who were present when the picture was taken. He was also charged with one count of furnishing harmful items to minors.
His backers launched a petition on the change.org website that had gathered nearly 1,000 supporters as of Tuesday.
The prank was “encouraged by his fellow teammates” and may now prevent Osborn from graduating, the petition reads.
“He didn’t put the picture in the yearbook, he didn’t create the page, he wasn’t the editor that approved it or the teacher responsible for publishing it and distributing it to students,” it adds.
“The teacher responsible for the yearbook should be fired. Red Mountain High School is using him as a scapegoat instead of taking any responsibility! Hunter needs to be held accountable for his actions but that doesn’t mean ruining his life!”