Jose Baez enters bullying case - OS

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Jose Baez enters bullying case - OS

Post by mom_in_il on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:30 pm

Jose Baez enters bullying case

By Jerriann Sullivan, Orlando Sentinel
11:09 a.m. EDT, October 23, 2013

Jose Baez, the Florida lawyer who became a household name after defending Casey Anthony, is now representing the 12-year-old girl accused of bullying Rebecca Ann Sedwick for over a year before her suicide.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd last week announced the arrests of two girls, ages 12 and 14, on aggravated stalking charges after the girls allegedly tormented Rebecca both in school and online.

Rebecca jumped to her death from a tower at an abandoned cement factory near her home on Sept. 10.

The Sentinel is not naming the girls because of their ages.

The 12-year-old told deputies she used to be Rebecca's friend but the 14-year-old turned her against Rebecca. The 14-year-old instigated the bullying after she started dating Rebecca's ex-boyfriend, Judd said.

Rebecca's mother, Tricia Norman, has retained attorney David Henry, the managing partner at Morgan & Morgan's Winter Haven office, the firm announced this week.

"It used to be a parent could be relatively assured that their kids were safe in their room, but that's no longer the case. A computer in a child's bedroom is their porthole to the outside world," Henry is quoted as saying in the statement. "Cyberbullying has become a pervasive problem among our children and it needs to stop."

Baez was not available for comment Wednesday. He met with the family of the accused tormentor last night and is reviewing the case today.

According to Judd, the girls "repeatedly and maliciously" harassed Rebecca while all three attended Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland forcing Rebecca to switch schools.

The harassment continued as the girls continued to send hateful messages to Rebecca on her smartphone through text messages and social media.

"Yes ik (I know) I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF" (I don't give a (expletive)),'' the 14-year-old girl wrote on Facebook, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Worried the 14-year-old girl would torment other children, the Sheriff's Office arrested the girl after she made the above comment on social media.

The girls admitted to the abuse after their arrests, Judd said.

The mother of the 14-year-old suspect was arrested last week after a video surfaced on Facebook showing her in a fight with unidentified juveniles, records show.

Judd said she admitted to punching one of the juveniles in the face with a fist and punching the second juvenile several times on the back of the head and between his shoulders.

It is unclear if the family of the 14-year-old has hired a lawyer.

The case has drawn international attention to the issue of cyber bulling and the responsibility of parents to monitor the online behavior of their children.

Baez has offices in Orlando and Miami, according to his website.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.,0,6984528.story
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