Rebecca Sedwick bullying case: Charges dropped, officials say

Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-20 19:22:32-05
By Steve Almasy


(CNN) — Two teenage girls accused of aggravated stalking in the case of a young Florida girl who jumped to her death no longer face criminal charges, officials said Wednesday.

Attorney Jose Baez, the attorney for Katelyn Roman, said the state had dropped the felony charge against her in the bullying case of Rebecca Sedwick, who was 12 when she committed suicide in September.

“We are very pleased that the state attorney’s office … has decided to do the right thing,” Baez said, adding that he was convinced that his client had never done anything criminal.

Baez said the girl was deeply affected by Sedwick’s death and had been bullied herself.

Katelyn, 13, has been in counseling, he said.

“There is zero evidence of any stalking in this case,” he said.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he was “exceptionally pleased with the outcome of the case.”

“We see the children are going to get the services that they need,” Judd said, referring to counseling services. “That’s the best outcome for juveniles.”

A 14-year-old girl, Guadalupe Shaw, had also been charged in the case. Judd indicated that the charge against her had been dropped, citing a conversation with her lawyer, Ron Toward. CNN left a request for comment on his office voice mail but didn’t hear back immediately.

A member of the state attorney’s office said he could not comment on cases involving juveniles and referred CNN to defense lawyers.

Months of cyberabuse reportedly drove Rebecca to climb up the ladder of a pair of silos at an abandoned concrete plant in September. She had already cut open her wrists in December but survived that suicide attempt.

CNN does not typically identify minors who are charged as juveniles, but the network is doing so in this case because their identities have been publicized by law enforcement and have received extensive publicity in their local media.

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