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Juvenile crimes charges filed for alleged cyberbullying

The prevalence of cyberbullying was underscored by a criminology professor at a Florida university following the arrest of two teenagers. They face charges for such juvenile crimes after the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in early January. The professor, who is also a director at a research center for cyberbullying, says about one-third of children nationwide are victimized in this way. Furthermore, approximately 12 percent admit to having bullied others online.

Panama Beach police say their investigation into the death of the young girl who hanged herself led to the examination of several accounts on social media along with some mobile phones. During interviews authorized by their parents, two suspects confessed to have bullied the deceased girl online. A girl said she started the bullying by calling the other girl vulgar names online and stating that she had sexually transmitted diseases.

The other suspect is a boy who confessed to video-chatting with the girl, who told him about a suicide attempt. He said, before ending the call, he commented that she should hang herself if she wanted to. He contends he regretted the remark, and although he tried to call her back, neither his phone calls nor his text messages were answered. It is believed that she responded by hanging herself with a dog leash.

Facing juvenile crimes can be harrowing experiences for both children and their parents in Florida. In this case, it might be difficult to prove that their actions and the cyberbullying were the direct cause of the suicide. The most logical step for others in similar circumstances would be to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can work on a defense strategy focused on achieving the best possible outcome.

Source: New York Daily News, "Two Florida preteens busted for cyberbullying after student hangs herself", Jan. 23, 2018

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