Fla. Bullying Case: Charges Dropped Against Teens

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  • ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Charges have been dropped against two teenage girls whom a sheriff had accused of bullying a Florida classmate who later committed suicide, the girls’ attorneys said Wednesday.

    Last month, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrest of a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl as juveniles on stalking charges. He said then that the two were primarily responsible for bullying Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old who jumped to her death at an abandoned concrete plant in September.

    Attorney Jose Baez held a news conference Wednesday to announce that the charge had been dropped against his 12-year-old client. The attorney for the 14-year-old, Ronald Toward, told The Associated Press in an email Wednesday evening that The State Attorney’s Office in Polk County charge also had dropped the charge against his client.

    Baez demanded an apology from Judd for arresting the 12-year-old, whom he described as a “troubled young girl” who had been bullied herself.

    The lawyer said it was “reckless” for Judd to have brought a juvenile count of third-degree felony aggravated stalking against the girl, and to name her and show her mug shot at a news conference last month announcing the arrests.

    “I found zero evidence having to do with my client that would rise to the level of a criminal act,” Baez told reporters.

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