Charges dropped in teen cyberbullying suicide case

U.S. -

Florida authorities dropped charges against two girls who were arrested after one admitted to bullying a 12-year-old who had recently committed suicide.

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters

Lakeland, FL, USA

Florida prosecutors on Nov. 20 dropped felony aggravated stalking charges against two girls, ages 12 and 14, accused of cyberbullying that led 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick to commit suicide in September. Investigators combed 27,000 pages of Facebook chats before dropping the charges.

One of the accused girls, Katelyn Roman (now 13 years old), told NBC's "Today" show on Nov. 21 that she and Sedwick were once friends and that she had done nothing wrong. Her lawyer said that she too has been the subject of Facebook bullying.

The girls were booked at a juvenile facility in October before being returned to their parents. Aggravated stalking in Florida is a third-degree felony defined as "a person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person and makes a credible threat to that person."

One of the girls reportedly told Sedwick she "should go kill herself" and she "should die." Police say Sedwick began searching online for "how to get blades out of razors," "how many Advil do you need to take to die," and "how many over the counter drugs do you take to die."

Police say one of the girls posted the message on Facebook days before her arrest. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he arrested the girl to prevent her from bullying others. The girl denied bullying and said she hadn't recently accessed Facebook. Source: pbs.twimg.com

Police say one of the girls posted the message on Facebook days before her arrest. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he arrested the girl to prevent her from bullying others. The girl denied bullying and said she hadn't recently accessed Facebook.

"She went to counseling for about three or four months after that. Her last appointment, the counselor asked how she felt and she said she thought she was doing a lot better." Tricia Norman, Sedwick's mother

Norman said that she moved Sedwick to a new school, where she had made progress, but the bullying resumed on social media.

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