Former Governor Charlie Crist is helping Rebecca Sedwick's mother explore her legal options after the 12-year-old jumped to her death because of cyberbullying.
Rebecca's mother, Tricia Norman, hired the prominent Morgan & Morgan law firm in her quest for justice and Crist is one of the attorneys working on the case.
No legal actions have been taken yet, but the lawyers said at a news conference Thursday that they haven't ruled out suing Polk County schools or the parents of the two middle school girls who are accused of bullying Rebecca.
Crist addressed the complicated nature of the case saying "it's hard to protect them because it's hard to detect it." He went on to say "whether it's through a text message or if the confrontation is just two people and no one is witnessing it. This is not like somebody being shoved at a playground where others might witness it and have an opportunity to stop it."
The lawyers also said they have set up a website for Norman to help her raise $5,400 to pay for Rebecca's funeral costs. Additional funds donated will be used for anti-bullying initiatives.
While Norman's lawyers review the evidence for possible civil suits, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is preparing for the criminal portion of the story that gained national attention after Rebecca's Sept. 10 suicide.
Earlier this month Judd arrested two girls, ages 14 and 12, and charged them with aggravated stalking for allegedly tormenting Rebecca in school and online.
The Sentinel is not naming the girls because of their ages.
The 14-year-old instigated the bullying after she started dating Rebecca's ex-boyfriend, Judd said.
The 12-year-old girl was once Rebecca's friend — but the older girl turned her against Rebecca.
The girls "repeatedly and maliciously" harassed Rebecca while all three attended Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland forcing Rebecca's mom to enroll her daughter in a different school.
The switch didn't help because her accused tormentors could still reach Rebecca on her cell phone through text messages and social media applications, investigators said.
The girls allegedly tormented Rebecca by calling her ugly and urging her to drink bleach and die.
"Yes ik (I know) I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF" (I don't give a (expletive)),'' the 14-year-old girl wrote on Facebook, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The girls admitted to the abuse after their arrests, Judd said.
The family of the 12-year-old girl accused of bullying Rebecca has hired its own name brand attorney – Jose Baez.
On Tuesday, the Florida lawyer who became a household name after defending Casey Anthony, announced that he is representing the tween.
Baez will speak at a news conference Friday around 8:30 a.m. after the girl's arraignment.
Last week, the mother of the 14-year-old accused bully was arrested when the Sheriff's Office found a video on Facebook that showed the mom fighting with unidentified juveniles, records show.
Judd said the mother admitted to punching one of the juveniles in the face and punching the second juvenile several times on the back of the head and between his shoulders.
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