In Massachusetts, nine teenagers have been charged in connection with the death of Phoebe Prince. The 15-year-old was found hanging in her bedroom last January.
The teenagers are accused of stalking, harassment, and bullying Prince at South Hadley High School and on Facebook. Among those charged:
• 17-year-old Sean Mulveyhill from South Hadley is charged with criminal harassment, statutory rape, violation of civil rights, and disturbance of a school assembly.
• 17-year-old South Hadley teen Kayla Narey is charged with criminal harassment, civil rights violations, and disturbance of a school assembly.
• 18-year-old Austin Renaud from Springfield is charged with statutory rape.
• 16-year-old South Hadley resident teen Flannery Mullins is charged with stalking as a youthful offender and civil rights violations as a youthful offender.
• 16-year-old Ashley Longe, of South Handley, is charged with violation of civil rights as a youthful offender.
• 16-year-old Sharon Chanon Velazquez, of South Hadley, is charged with stalking as a youthful offender and civil rights violations as a youthful offender.
Three female juveniles, all South Hadley residents, have been charged with juvenile crimes, which include criminal harassment, civil rights violations, disturbance of a school assembly, and assault by means of a dangerous weapon.
Prince had moved to South Hadley from Ireland. According to Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel, one of the alleged bullying incidents occurred in front of a school staffer and other students, but no one reported what happened.
Bullying as a Crime
Many teenagers and younger children don’t realize when they’ve crossed the line that turns “merely picking on another kid” into a Massachusetts crime.
If your son or daughter has been charged with committing any crime, you should contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.
9 charged in death of South Hadley teen, who took life after bullying, Boston.com, March 29, 2010
Phoebe Prince, South Hadley High School’s ‘new girl,’ driven to suicide by teenage cyber bullies, New York Daily News, March 29, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts Law About Bullying and Cyberbullying, Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries
Juvenile Crime in Massachusetts, Mass.gov
You will want to make sure that your child’s rights are protected and that you work with a Massachusetts criminal defense law firm that can secure the best outcome possible for your case. For example, you don’t want your son/daughter to be charged in adult court when the case can be handled in juvenile court. The consequences and punishments in adult court are much harsher. There also may be reasons why the charges should be dismissed or reduced.