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Teenage Girls Arrested for Cyber Bullying While Teenage Boys Accused of Rape Run Free

October 17, 2013

The death of a 12-year old girl, Rebecca, in Polk County, Florida brought people to tears. The sheriff said that when he saw the body of the child who had committed suicide after being the target of relentless bullying, his heart broke.

“When I stood there at the base of that cement tower, and saw that baby, that 12-year-old, deceased on the ground, it broke my heart and I know it would break the hearts of everyone else across the country if they were in the position I was in,” Judd told “Good Morning America” Wednesday.

Rebecca would have celebrated her 13th birthday this weekend.

The 12-year-old suspect told them she bullied Rebecca and expressed remorse, Police said. She was released into her parents’ custody and has been placed on home detention, pending further proceedings.

The older suspect remains in the juvenile wing of the Polk County Jail until her arraignment Oct. 25.

Parents of the older suspect are supposedly in denial about the activities of their 14-year old daughter that precipitated the death of Rebecca in Polk County, Florida.

The bullying never stopped, not when Rebecca was beaten up at school, not when her mother pulled her out of school, not until she committed suicide.  And now the girls that ran the bullying ring have been indicted on felony charges, and the parents of those girls are at risk for being charged as well:

Florida officials are still actively investigating the parents of a teenage girl accused of cyberbullying Rebecca Sedwick to suicide,Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

“If I could, they would already be in jail,” Judd told ABC News Wednesday. “But I can tell you this, that we’re keeping our options open.”

The charge would be “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” the sheriff said.

Contrast the Polk County Sheriff’s response with the response of the sheriff in the Maryville rape case, who dropped all the charges against teenage boys. Given, I think the girls who bullied poor Rebecca of Polk County to death need to be charged, but look at how quickly those people brought charges against teenage girls and contrast that with the charges that were dropped against teenage boys for bullying to such a degree that more than one teenage girl was raped while she was drunk.  Why is it that the boys are set free and the girls are charged?

According to Rebecca’s mother, she wishes the parents of the bullying girls would be charged and the kids allowed to get help, but where are the parents of the teenage boys in the Maryville rape case? Has the community come out against them?  Nope. It drove Daisy, the teenage girl raped by teenage boys at a party after they supplied her with enough alcohol to vomit while passed out, to move out of town, and then someone burned the family’s house. Notice that Daisy and her family have been blamed for being “uncooperative” with officials, and so the teenage boys who have fed alcohol to 13-year old girls and raped them, have been freed:

A second victim who says she faced threats and harassment after being raped by a classmate in Maryville, Mo. has come forward.

Paige Parkhurst was 13 in January 2012, when she and Coleman, then 14, were having a sleepover at Coleman’s home in Maryville, Parkhurst told Al Jazeera America.

The two girls wound up sneaking out of the house to attend a party at the home of Maryville High School football player Matthew Barnett, who was 17 at the time. Both girls say that Barnett and a 15-year-old boy — whose name has not been released — raped them at the party.

Parkhurst detailed the horrific night to Al Jazeera :

We got there, and they just started handing [Daisy Coleman] drink after drink after drink. And they had separated us as soon as we got there. And another boy that was there with me, had taken me into another room, and had sexually assaulted me, after me telling him no, pushing him away. And after he was done, he made me go back out into the living room with him, and we sat and waited until Matt was done with Daisy. … She couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk and just was talking like a baby.Coleman was later found on her front lawn, nearly unconscious in freezing temperatures.

The boy who assaulted Parkhurst was sentenced in juvenile court, but prosecutor Robert Rice ultimately dropped all charges against Barnett. Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White told HuffPost on Monday that his department presented a “strong case” to prosecutors, but charges against Barnett were dropped because the girls became uncooperative.

“The victims decided they no longer wanted to participate in the case,” White said. “They gave no deposition or statement and invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.”

I find it strange that the prosecutor declined to press charges for uncooperative victims when these victims have given interviews to the media. After much media speculation, prosecutor Rice said he appointed an independent prosecutor to review the case.  Maybe the boys will be charged after all.

Strange, isn’t it, how teenage boys accused of rape, and proven by medical tests, are allowed to be free while teenage girls accused of cyber bullying were charged with federal indictments? The girls who were raped in Maryville have lost their lives, have tried cutting themselves, have lost their teenage years to predators. Why haven’t those predators been stopped and what about their parents? Do the parents of predators need to be charged, too? I argue they do.

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