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

Posted: Updated:
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

Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts

  • NewsMore>>

  • SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:23 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:23:35 GMT
    Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
  • Pinellas Health Dept. warns of parasitic disease

    Pinellas Health Dept. warns of parasitic disease

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:12 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:12:18 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo credit Ukko.deWikimedia Commons photo credit Ukko.de
    The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is asking for the public's help to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, a disease that spreads easily in households, child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated water.
    The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is asking for the public's help to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, a disease that spreads easily in households, child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated water.
  • Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:37:47 GMT
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.