EE.UU.: detuvieron della Nina 12 e 14 anni per aver molestato un minore che si è suicidato

La vittima di bullismo ha avuto anche 12 anni; gli arrestati devono rispettare gli arresti domiciliari mentre indaga il caso si sviluppa

Rebecca si suicidò Sedwick essere molestata da altre due ragazze. Foto: Reuters
WINTER HAVEN, Florida.- Dos menores de 12 e 14 años fueron arrestadas por la policía de Florida por supuesto “acoso agravado” contra Rebecca Sedwick, una compañera del colegio de 12 anni, que se suicidó en septiembre pasado, informaron ayer las autoridades.La comisaría del condado de Polk dijo que las detenidas, di 12 e 14 anni, están acusadas de acoso criminal con agravantes. Las autoridades dijeron que Rebecca Sedwick fue acosada por hasta 15 niñas a través de Internet y mensajes de texto por casi un año.El 10 de septiembre pasado, Rebecca Sedwick se suicidó saltando de una torre de hormigón al interior de una planta de cemento abandonada.

De acuerdo a los padres de la víctima, su hija se suicidó contrariada por una serie de agresiones que sufrió por compañeras de escuela tanto en el predio de la escuela secundaria como en la red social Facebook.

Según la declaración jurada divulgada ayer por la unidad de investigación de homicidios de la policía del condado de Polk, centro de Florida, las jóvenes arrestadas estuvieron “acosando maliciosamente y repetidas veces” a Sedwick durante el año escolar 2012/2013

Las acusadas y la víctima asistían a la misma escuela secundaria, llamada Crystal Lake Middle School, donde varios estudiantes indicaron que ambas estudiantes molestaban a Sedwick poniéndole sobrenombre, intimidándola, amenzándola con pegarle y que al menos una vez hubo una agresión física, dijo la policía de Polk en un comunicado.

Las autoridades revelaron que Rebecca Sedwick resultó “aterrada” por unas 15 niñas en las redes sociales, que le dejaban mensajes como “Deberías morirte”, e “¿Por qué no vas y te matas?”.

El jefe de policía del condado, Grady Judd, informó ayer que arrestaron a una menor de 14 años preocupados de que siguiera acosando a otras niñas, después que cargó un mensaje en Facebook diciendo que había hostigado a Rebecca y que no le importaba.

“Decidimos que no podemos dejarla así. ¿A quién más va a atormentar, a quién más va a hostigar?”, se preguntó el jefe de policía.

Judd agregó que el acoso comenzó después que la niña de 14 años empezó a salir con un muchacho con el que había salido Rebecca. También fue arrestada otra chica de 12 años por el caso.

Las jóvenes arrestadas fueron fichadas por la policía el lunes pasado a la noche y entregadas a sus respectivos padres para continuar la detención en la casa mientras sigue la investigación.

“Mi hija es una buena chica y estoy ciento por ciento seguro que cualquier cosa que estén diciendo de mi hija no es cierto”, dijo por teléfono el padre de la niña de 14 anni.

Agencias AP y AFP.


TAMPA, Fla. — For nearly a year, as many as 15 girls ganged up on 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick and picked on her, authorities say, bombarding her with online messages such as “You should die” e “Why don’t you go kill yourself.”

Rebecca couldn’t take it anymore.

She changed one of her online screen names to “That Dead Girl.” She messaged a boy in North Carolina: “I’m jumping.” And then, on Monday, the Lakeland girl went to an abandoned concrete plant, climbed a tower and hurled herself to her death.

Authorities have seized computers and cellphones from some of the girls as they decide whether to bring charges in what appeared to be the nation’s latest deadly cyberbullying case.

The bullying started over a “boyfriend issue” last year at Crystal Lake Middle School, Sheriff Grady Judd said. But he gave no details. Police said Rebecca was suspended at one point for fighting with a girl who used to be her friend.

Rebecca had been “absolutely terrorized” by the other girls, Judd said. He said detectives found some of her diaries at her home, and she talked of how depressed she was about the situation.

“Her writings would break your heart,” ha detto.

The case has illustrated, once more, the ways in which youngsters are using the Internet to torment others.

“There is a lot of digital drama. Middle-school kids are horrible to each other, especially girls,” said Perry Aftab, a New Jersey-based lawyer and expert on cyberbullying.

Last December, Rebecca was hospitalized for three days after cutting her wrists because of what she said was bullying, according to the sheriff. Later, after Rebecca complained that she had been pushed in the hallway and that another girl wanted to fight her, Rebecca’s mother began home-schooling her in Lakeland, a city of about 100,000 midway between Tampa and Orlando, Judd said.

This fall, Rebecca started at a new school, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, and loved it, Judd said. But the bullying continued online.

“She put on a perfect, happy face. She never told me,” Rebecca’s mother, Tricia Norman, told the Lakeland Ledger. “I never had a clue. I mean, she told me last year when she was being bullied, but not this year, and I have no idea why.”

After Rebecca’s suicide, police looked at her computer and found search queries such as “what is overweight for a 13-year-old girl,” “how to get blades out of razors,” e “how many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die.” One of her screensavers also showed Rebecca with her head resting on a railroad track.

Police said that she had met the North Carolina boy at an airport and that they had remained friends online. The 12-year-old boy didn’t tell anyone about the “I’m jumping, I can’t take it anymore” message he received from her on Monday morning, shortly before her suicide, authorities said.

Detectives said the other girls’ parents have been cooperative.

Florida has a bullying law, but it leaves punishment to schools, not police. Legal experts said it is difficult to bring charges against someone accused of driving a person to suicide.

“We’ve had so many suicides that are related to digital harassment. But we also have free-speech laws in this country,” Aftab said.

In a review of news articles, The Associated Press found about a dozen suicides in the U.S. since October 2010 that were attributed at least in part to cyberbullying. Aftab said she believes the real number is at least twice that.

In 2006, 13-year-old Megan Meier hanged herself in Missouri after she was dumped online by a fictitious teenage boy created in part by an adult neighbor, Lori Drew, authorities said. A jury found Drew guilty of three federal misdemeanors, but a judge threw out the verdicts and acquitted her.

Florida’s law, the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act, was named after a teenager who killed himself after being harassed by classmates. The law was amended July 1 to cover cyberbullying.

David Tirella, a Florida attorney who lobbied for the law and has handled dozens of cyberbullying cases, said law enforcement can also seek more traditional charges.

“The truth is, even without these school bullying laws, there’s battery, there’s stalking,” ha detto.


Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.


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Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.