Polk County Cyber-Bullying Charges Dropped

Rebecca SedwickSheriff Grady Judd
(L-R) Rebecca Sedwick, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd

Charges have been dropped against 2 girls accused of cyber-bullying and stalking a classmate, who later killed herself. On NBC’s Today Show this morning, one of the girls said she didn’t do anything wrong. The 13-year-old girl appeared on the show with attorney Jose Baez and her parents.

On September 9, 2013, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick of Lakeland jumped to her death in an abandoned concrete plant. Sedwick’s mother has hired attorneys from Morgan and Morgan law firm to possibly pursue a civil case against the girls.

According to the Associated Press, Baez said the State Attorney’s Office in Polk County dropped the third degree felony aggravated stalking charge against his client. Baez also wants an apology from Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and his department for naming and releasing mugshots of the 2 girls to the news media.

After Baez announced the dropped charges yesterday, Sheriff Judd responded at a news conference in Winter Haven. Judd told reporters he didn’t regret anything he did, was happy with the outcome and that the girls will receive “the services they need.”

“Our goal is that these kids never bully anyone again, never torment anyone again,” Judd said.

On Monday, Oct. 14th, Polk County Sheriff’s detectives arrested and charged a 14-year-old and 12-year-old girl, now 13 years-old, with felony aggravated stalking in connection with Sedwick’s suicide in September. The 2 accused teenagers and Sedwick attended Crystal Lake Middle School. According to affadavits from December 2012 to February 2013 and detectives’ interviews with witnesses, the 2 girls repeatedly harrassed Sedwick with unrelenting, hateful text messages, intimidation of Sedwick and her friends, verbal arguments and threats to beat up Sedwick.

“Detectives determined Sedwick jumped to her death from a concrete silo tower and that the malicious harrassment by ……. likely contributed to Rebecca’s decision to commit suicide,” the Polk County Sheriff Office news release stated.

For updates, go to http://www.wfla.com., http://www.tampatribune.com

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