Attorney for girl charged in bullying case: Facebook page hacked

Attorney for girl charged in bullying suicide: Facebook page was hacked

Posted: Updated:
Andrea DeMichael Andrea DeMichael
Rebecca Sedwick Rebecca Sedwick
Rebecca Sedwick Rebecca Sedwick

The arrests of two Polk County girls in connection with another girl's suicide are drawing international attention, and now the parents of the girls who were charged, as well as a family attorney, are speaking out.

Rebecca Sedwick, 12, took her life on September 9 after investigators and her family said she was relentlessly bullied.

Monday night, deputies arrested two girls, ages 12 and 14, and charged them with felony stalking in connection with Sedwick's death.  FOX 35 is not naming the girls, because they are juveniles.

They were arrested after the sheriff said the 14-year-old posted something on Facebook he could not ignore.   But in an interview with ABC News that aired Wednesday, a couple identified as the 14-year-old's parents said their daughter was not responsible for the post and they believe her Facebook page was hacked.

"She wouldn't write anything like that," the girl's mother told ABC News.

The teen's mother also said she closely monitored her daughter's Facebook activity, checking it every time she got on it.

The father of the 12-year-old also spoke to ABC News and said he did not believe his daughter played a part in bullying Sedwick.

"I feel horrible about the situation," he said.

Of the claim that the 14-year-old's page was hacked, Judd said Tuesday: "Of course, we don't believe that."

The 14-year-old's lawyer, Andrea DeMichael, said she too has been led to believe that her client's account was hacked.

"My client hasn't had access to her cellphone," said DeMichael.   "My client and her parents say she didn't' have access to a computer at that time.  She was asleep, so we've got an uphill battle with that."

As the charge stands, if the 14-year-old girl is found guilty, she could remain in detention until she is 19.

"We want to find a balance here, not to take away another juvenile's life per se," DeMichael added. 

When asked if her client felt remorse for what happened to Sedwick,   "She's certainly upset," DeMichael replied, when asked if her client felt remorse about Sedwick's death.  "She doesn't express remorse like we would anticipate. She's not crying or shaking."

Sedwick's mother said she feels justice has been served with the arrests.  As for her daughter's legacy, she hopes parents, school officials, and police all learn to take bullying complaints more seriously.

Tuesday night, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said the 12-year-old had been released to her parents' custody, and the 14-year-old had been placed back in juvenile detention.


Information taken from MyFoxTampaBay with contributions from FOX 35's Holly Bristow.
 
 

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