Teens Arrested for Cyberbullying Classmate With Fake Facebook Profile, Nude Photos
According to the police report, the fake Facebook page first appeared on April 20th, and eventually accumulated 181 friends. A second page under the same victim's name surfaced on April 29th, and attracted five friends. Investigators traced the IP addresses of both profiles to the home of 16-year-old Taylor Wynn, who, along with 15-year-old McKenzie Barker, now faces charges of "aggravated stalking of a minor under 16."
Prosecutors claim that Wynn and Barker outfitted the fake profile with nude pictures of teenage girls, superimposed with a photo of the victim's face. The girls also posted a digitally altered photo of the victim's face next to a man's penis, and wrote lewd comments across the page. Wynn told investigators that she and the victim were "friends at one time but they do not like each other now." The girl added that she only created the page with the intent of pulling off a "funny joke," and didn't have any qualms about ridiculing her target "because nobody liked her."
The victim, whose name has not been released, was aware of the fake Facebook account, but told her school resource officer, Deputy Allen Thierer, that she thought it would eventually "go away." According to Thierer, though, she was still "subjected to numerous incidents of teasing and ridicule for an ongoing period of time." It was a parent, in fact, who first notified authorities of the page in April. After obtaining the necessary subpoenas and search warrants, investigators gathered incriminating text messages and e-mails sent between Barker and Wynn, and accessed the fraudulent page with the help of cooperative students.
In 2008, the Florida state legislature enacted a tough law on cyberbullying in honor of a boy named Jeffrey Johnston. Johnston committed suicide in 2005, at the age of 15, after being tormented online. The 'Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act' calls for harsher penalties for anyone convicted of cyberbullying, meaning that Wynn and Barker, if convicted, would likely receive more than just a slap on the wrist. And, if they really were behind this "funny joke," they would certainly deserve it.