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(Reuters) - A photo of a topless Missouri mother and her bare-breasted teenage daughter in a hot tub has landed the mother in hot water with the law.
Mari Hieken, of Wentzville, Missouri, has been charged with misdemeanor child endangerment and could face a year in jail after the photo of herself and her 14-year-old daughter circulated on some Internet social media sites, law enforcement officials said.
A police report said the incident took place November 14 at the woman's home as she and her daughter "knowingly posed for a topless photograph." The photo was circulated in two area high schools, the police report states.
The mother told a local television station she was not posing, and did not intend for the photo to be taken, let alone distributed, but that another daughter snapped the photo before Hieken could stop her.
Hieken could not be reached to comment independently.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lomar told local media the woman should be held to account on the charges, which were filed December 12.
"The mother was very clearly present, involved when the picture was taken," Lomar told St. Louis television station KMOV in an interview. "It certainly had some sexual overtones. This was a mother who made a very poor choice."
Lomar declined to provide further comment.
Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; editing by Gunna Dickson