The photos of the University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team that were leaked online came from one of the players’ phones, according to the DailyMail.
University of Wisconsin Police said the player is not under suspicion and does not know how the photos came to be online but said they are looking at whether her cell phone was hacked.
Marc Lovicott, the Department’s Executive Director of Communications, said of the investigation: “We’re looking into what happened and who may have shared these photos.
‘None of the players are being investigated and we are looking at the possibility that one of their phones was hacked.’
Under Wisconsin law, it is illegal to share explicit photos without permission – meaning whoever shared the X-rated shots would have needed all 18 members of the 2021 National Championship winning team to agree to their publication.
Lovicott said: ‘This is a unique case because of the high profile of the girls involved and our detectives are working on this case as a priority.’
He added: ‘Our department has worked on cases like this before but many of them involve people threatening to put intimate photos online – blackmail.
‘Nothing like that is suspected in this case and again, this case is unique because of the high profile of the players.’
The 40 photos and videos leaked online last week were taken in the aftermath of the Badgers’ triumph at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Volleyball National Championships last December.
The 3-2 victory over Top Ten rivals Nebraska was the first time Wisconsin, led by 2021 national player of the year Dana Rettke, had clinched the title, despite previously coming close.
Included in the large cache of pictures are images showing the team – some of whom have now graduated – flashing their breasts at the camera in delight during a private celebration in their locker room following the win.
The leak was revealed on October 18 when members of the volleyball team realized their photos were trending on Tiktok and reported it to police.
In a statement released on Twitter the following day, University of Wisconsin Athletics said: ‘We are aware that private photos and video of UW volleyball student-athletes that were never intended to be shared publicly are being circulated digitally.
“The unauthorized sharing is a significant and wrongful invasion of the student-athletes’ privacy, including potential violations of university policies and criminal statutes.
“When the student-athletes became aware of the circulating photos, they contacted the UW-Madison Police Department.
“UWPD is investigating multiple crimes, including sharing sensitive photos without consent. UWPD is not investigating the volleyball student-athletes for wrongdoing in this matter.
“Our top priority is supporting our student-athletes and we are providing them with the appropriate services and resources.”
Despite the embarrassing leak, the players’ performance appears to have been unaffected with the Badgers racking up 3-0 and 3-1 victories over Michigan State and the University of Michigan over the weekend.