Charges dropped against Polk cyberbullying suspects - WFLA News Channel 8

Charges dropped against Polk cyberbullying suspects

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Jose Baez with Casey Anthony in 2011 Jose Baez with Casey Anthony in 2011
Rebecca Sedwick. Her mother says she jumped to her death after cyberbullying Rebecca Sedwick. Her mother says she jumped to her death after cyberbullying
ORLANDO, FL (WFLA) -

The State of Florida has dropped the charges against two teenagers charged in connection with a cyberbullying case.

Jose Baez made the announcement outside his Orlando office at 5:00 Wednesday afternoon that his 12-year-old client is no longer facing aggravated stalking charges in connection with the death of Rebecca Sedwick.

Sedwick jumped to her death after what her mother calls relentless cyberbullying.

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Baez was highly critical of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, calling his statements to the media and his appearances on national television, talking about the case, "unconscionable". 

"I think this clearly fell outside the scope of a law enforcement officer," said Baez.  Baez also emphasized his client's age, calling her a "child". 

Baez also called for Sheriff Judd to issue a public apology.

When asked if he would apologize for the way the case unfolded in the media, Sheriff Judd said: "We are comfortable with the cases we made."

He also said the Sheriff's Office will make future arrests in cyberbullying cases, if there is probable cause.

News Channel 8 also confirmed that the second girl arrested in the Sedwick case has been cleared of aggravated stalking charges.

Her attorney, Andrea DeMichael, released the following statement:

"My client and her family continue to send their condolences to Rebecca's family. Rebecca's untimely death has illuminated the dark side of adolescent life and the powerful role social media has in today's society. This tragedy has also sparked a national discussion on how to properly address these evils that our youth are experiencing. My client and her family are relieved by the State Attorney's decision today. She is hopeful about her future and is attempting to turn this tragic event into something positive."

Related content:  Attorney feels charges may not stick in Polk bullying case

Gayle Sierens reached out to Tricia Norman, Sedwick's mother, by phone on Wednesday afternoon.  Norman says she heard that the charges would be dropped around 1:00 p.m.

"I am still processing all of it," said Norman over the phone.  "I am still kind of numb about it all but what I do know is that Becca would want to forgive [name].  I am not there yet in the forgiveness of [name], but would be encouraged in she stays on the right track."

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