In a move that indicates cyber bullying is finally being taken seriously and considered as a real crime, two girls in America have been formally charged with cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing.

The girls aged 11 and 12 allegedly hacked into the Facebook account of another friend and then posted sexually explicit material on it.

The incidents happened after the 3 girls had a falling out. The 12 year old alleged victim, Leslie Cote, had previously accessed her Facebook account on a computer at one of the defendant’s homes.

The stored information was later used to hack into her page “with the intent of embarrassing and tormenting the victim,” Issaquah police Detective Ryan Raulerson wrote in the affidavit of probable cause filed to support the charges.

It is alleged that the defendants not only posted pornographic images on Leslie’s Facebook page, but also defaced some of her personal photos and suggested that Leslie was available to perform sex acts on people.

The intrusion first came to light when Leslie’s tutor informed her mother that she had noticed the Facebook page had been defaced and vulgar comments added. Mr Knight, Leslie’s stepfather then contacted the police and later obtained a restraining order against the defendants.

The King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said, “This case reveals the dark side of social media sites used by young people.”

In a media release, Satterberg wrote “Many kids think that on a social media site that their actions will be anonymous and that they are free to use it as weapon to bully, harass, and intimidate another person. This case demonstrates that assuming the identity of another person on the Internet with the intent to torment them and expose them to the harassment of others is a crime.”

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald.