The parents of one of the two young girls who are accused of cyberbullying 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick to the point she took her own life are speaking out now against the allegations. ABC News interviewed the parents of the 14-year-old girl charged with felony aggravated stalking in the Sept. 9 death of Sedwick. The story was shared on Oct. 16.
Sedwick, a 12-year-old Florida girl was who relentlessly bullied for months on end, climbed a tower in early September and hurled herself to her death. As many as 15 girls at a time gang-bullied Rebecca Ann Sedwick in a case of gross cyberbullying, reported The Associated Press on Sept. 13.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Rebecca was “absolutely terrorized” by her malicious peers.
“We can see from what we've been investigating so far that Rebecca wasn't attacking back,” Judd said. “She appeared to be beat down. She appeared to have a defeatist attitude. And quite frankly, the entire investigating is exceptionally disturbing.”
Horrific online messages sent to Rebecca told the pre-teen: "You should die," "Why don't you go kill yourself," and "drink bleach and die."
ABC News says the parents of the older girl blames a hacker that was allowed to infiltrate their daughter’s Facebook account and send spurious messages to Sedwick. They say their daughter is innocent, and any blame lies in lax Facebook security.
The stunned parents, who have six other children, said they monitored their daughter’s online activity and text messages and say their teen is “lovable,” and “caring.” They say their daughter is not, and never was, a school bully.
“I would check her Facebook every time she would get on it,” the suspect's mother said, stating she prides herself on being involved in her children’s lives.
Her husband and the teen’s father agreed.
“If we saw something that was not right, we would've addressed it and it would've ended right then,” he said.
The daughter’s name and the names of her parents were not released by ABC. However, both the mother and the father ripped Sherriff Judd for releasing their daughter’s name to the media and painting her as a malicious criminal. The girl's pictures and names were carried by multiple news outlets. (Photo and names are above.)
“My daughter doesn't deserve to be in the place she's in right now and I just hope that the truth comes to the surface so we can get out of this nightmare,” her father said.
The 14-year-old will likely remain jailed in the juvenile wing of the Polk County Jail until her next hearing, which is on Oct. 25.
Sheriff Judd said he brought both girls into custody earlier this week because he saw a lack of remorse, pointing to a Facebook post allegedly written just this past weekend by the 14-year-old suspect that said:
“Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but I don't give a f---.”
“No, she wouldn't write anything like that. She's not that type of girl that would just say something like that,” her mother said in reply. She could not explain however how the so-called Facebook "hack" continues to be able to manipulate her daughter's posts, well over a month after Sedwick committed suicide.
ABC News says the 14-year-old suspect also allegedly bullied anyone who was friends with Rebecca, according to police, and even encouraged the 12-year-old suspect, who Rebecca's one-time friend, to turn on her.
The parents of the 12-year-old suspect expressed shock and remorse over what Sedwick did to herself, but unlike the 14-year-old's parents, have accepted the blame.
“I feel horrible about the whole situation,” the father said. “It's my fault, maybe that I don't know more about that kind of stuff. I wish I did.”