Secretary at Christian Brothers Academy accused of Snapchat sexting scandal

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) - The secretary at a local private school is accused of sending naked pictures of herself to a student.

Christian Brothers Academy is now the focus of a "sexting" scandal. Police said 38-year-old Sara McLaughlin, of Loudonville, is accused of sending nude photos to a 16-year-old student.

Police said she sent two photos of herself via the photo sharing app Snapchat where photos can be exchanged and then self-destruct. However, police said the student took screen grabs of the images.

"There were some rumors going around the school that she had been sending nude photographs of herself to some of the students there," Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn said.

McLaughlin, who is the secretary at CBA, is charged with Disseminating Indecent Material to a Minor in the Second Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

Police allege it started when the married mother began an online relationship with the student in March. There's no indication that McLaughlin and the student had any inappropriate physical interaction.

Lt. Winn said the investigation could only identify one victim, but the investigation is hindered because of the nature of the app that causes the images to self-destruct seconds after they're opened.

"Some of the evidence trail is going to be gone," he explained. "We have already been in contact with Snapchat, and if the person opens that picture, they don't save it anywhere on that server."

A forensic analysis of her cellphone is ongoing.

The school released a statement to parents stating it learned of the allegations first and reported it to police. The statement also said the school has "zero tolerance for such conduct."

The principal of CBA released the following statement:

Following the investigation, McLaughlin turned herself in on Monday night with her attorney, Lee Kindlon. He blames the allegations on a high school rumor mill run amuck.

"But right now we want the investigation to take place, and we want this thing to play out," he said.

Kindlon said his client is not guilty.

"And she's going through a lot right now, and she maintains her innocence," he said. "And she's looking forward to fighting those charges."

McLaughlin was arraigned in Colonie Justice Court, served an order of protection, and posted $10,000 bail. Her case has been referred to the Albany County District Attorney for scheduling of future court appearances.

Due to the nature of the allegation, anyone with information about the incident or who believes they are a victim is urged to contact the Colonie Police Department at (518) 783-2744.

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