Tampa attorney says Polk Sheriff did the right thing in cyberbul - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa attorney says Polk Sheriff did the right thing in cyberbullying case

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Rebecca Sedwick. Her mother says she jumped to her death after relentless cyberbullying. Rebecca Sedwick. Her mother says she jumped to her death after relentless cyberbullying.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A Polk county case of cyberbullying that made national headlines is taking a new turn.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says charges have been dropped against a 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl in a bullying case. 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide in September by jumping to her death at an abandoned concrete plant.

Attorney Jose Baez, who once represented Casey Anthony in the case of the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, now represents the 12-year-old girl in the bullying case. Baez held a news conference Wednesday and told reporters that Sheriff Judd should apologize to his client. Baez says the stigma from the arrest and the booking photo will now live online forever.

Sheriff Judd says the girls are entering a diversion plan and that the outcome is in the best interest of the children.

"We see that the children are going to get the services they need," said Judd.

Speaking on NBC's today show, the mother of the 12-year-old that had been charged in the incident said she's happy the charges have now been dropped.

"I'm very relieved and it's been a horrible experience for me and my daughter and my whole family."

Attorney David Tirella helped write an anti-bullying law in Florida.Tirella says just because the charges were dropped, doesn't mean they weren't involved in bullying.

Related: charges dropped against Polk cyberbullying suspects

"Just because the charges were dropped, doesn't mean there wasn't probable cause. There are many reasons why one is arrested and then charges get dropped and in this case, the main thing is the bully, the alleged bully will get counseling per the sheriff and that's a good thing," says Tirella.

Tirella says the arrest of the two girls in Polk County and the recent arrest of another teen in Pinellas County should be a message to parents.

"I think it's a new day. I think that parents need to be aware that their kids are bullying, as well as the bullies need to be aware that you're not just going to get sent home. You're not going to be suspended, you may get arrested," said Tirella.

Read more about the Polk county cyberbullying case

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