Polk bullying suspect's stepmother arrested for child abuse - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk bullying suspect's stepmother arrested for child abuse

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Vivian Vosburg in CNN interview Vivian Vosburg in CNN interview
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

UPDATE: A judge in Polk County has set a bond for Vivian Vosburg in the amount of $300,000.00 at a first appearance hearing this morning.

The stepmother of a 14-year-old at the center of an infamous cyberbullying case is now facing criminal charges herself.

Polk County detectives say they arrested Vivian Vosburg Friday afternoon because of a violent video posted to a family member's Facebook account that shows her beating two boys.

Vosburg is the stepmother of Guadalupe Shaw, the 14-year-old facing Aggravated Stalking charges in the suicide of Rebecca Sedwick. Sedwick, who was 12, killed herself by jumping from a tower at a closed cement plant last month.

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Sheriff Grady Judd said the public's attentiveness due to national media attention in the case led them to the video.

"They told us - hey, Sheriff, we've watched the news this last week how Vivian said that Guadalupe Shaw never bullied anybody," Judd said. "Seems to me like we've got some real violent activity going on in that home."

Judd says they found the video on Guadalupe Shaw's sister's Facebook page. They say it shows two boys fighting and Vosburg punching them and screaming profanities. Deputies say the video also shows several other children shouting profanities in what appears to a bedroom of a home. Sheriff Judd says six children, ages 9 to 14, are in the video.

"At first she said she accidentally hit him," Judd said.

But investigators say during the interview on Thursday afternoon Vosburg's tone changed once she saw the video. They say she admitted she's the woman in it and admitted to punching one of the boys in the face and punching the second child several times in the back of the head and between the shoulders. They say she said she knew she should not have hit the children.

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"She admitted 'I did go too far that day,'" Judd said.

Investigators believe the video was posted to Facebook in July by one of the children in the room and as of Friday morning was still online.

Judd says it shows that Shaw's stepmother wasn't watching her daughters' posts as closely as she let on.

"I always check her Facebook," Vosburg said in a CNN interview earlier in the week. "I know her password...she never once bullied this girl online."

Judd now feels like the video proves a point.

"It suggests to us that she absolutely does not monitor the Facebook pages or if she wants to take credit for monitoring the Facebook pages , she thinks that's okay," Judd said.

Detectives say the children are now in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Vosburg is facing two counts of Child Abuse with Bodily Harm and four counts of Child Neglect. She's behind bars in the Polk Co. Jail until she faces a judge Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. to see if she gets bail.

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