GRAHAM — It is not exactly clear how recent cyberbullying cases investigated by the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office are connected, but they do overlap, said Randy Jones, Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
The Sheriff’s Office began an investigation last year after receiving a complaint from an alleged victim and through the investigation “it evolved from there,” Jones said.
There are three alleged juvenile victims involved in three separate cases. There are seven teens charged, but only one of the teens is currently charged in connection to more than one case.
Five of the teens were charged for their alleged role in making Facebook posts against a boy who is a juvenile. The intent of the posts were meant to “intimidate and torment” the teen. The comments made on Facebook were about his “sexual orientation and his intelligence,” according to warrants.
Rodney Kyle Vinson, 17, of Rogers Road, Graham; Robert Bishop, 16, of Walking Stick Lane, Liberty; Kirsten Taylor Florence, 16, of N.C. 87 South, Graham; Ed Wayne Hall, 16, of Nature Lane, Haw River; and Joshua Shane Allen, 17, of Culberson Lane, Haw River, were each charged with one count of cyberbullying in that case. They all have a court date on March 20.
Allen also was charged with one count of cyberbullying for allegedly taking over a teenage girl’s Facebook profile and “posting personal and sexual information about the victim,” according to warrants.
Detectives first started investigating Allen, a former Southern Alamance High student, after receiving a report in October from a 15-year-old Southern High School student. She told detectives that someone had accessed her Facebook page and changed her password. Since she could no longer access her Facebook page, she created a new one, according to search warrants.
The person who had access to her old account started sending messages to her on the new account “demanding that she send naked pictures of herself to a yahoo email address,” according to warrants.
“The suspect stated that he would then turn control of the account back to her,” according to warrants. “The suspect then demanded that if she didn’t send the naked pictures of herself that he would begin to delete pictures from her old account.”
The person also contacted the alleged victim’s boyfriend and sent insulting sexual messages to him. Through a series of search warrants for Facebook accounts, Internet Protocol addresses and email accounts, detectives allegedly connected it all back to Allen.
In January, authorities seized his cellphone as well as an iPad, two laptops, a Netbook and an HP Pavilion, according to warrants.
In November, the mother of a 13-year-old girl contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report her daughter was a victim of cyberbullying. Someone allegedly created an Instagram account, which is an iPhone application used for sharing photos with others, in the victim’s name and used photos taken from her Facebook page to do it, according to search warrants.
A fake Facebook page also was created in the victim’s name. There was a photo of the victim in a “bra and panties” posted on the fake Facebook page.
Casey Nan Loy, 18, of Greensboro-Chapel Hill Road, Graham, was charged with one count of cyberbullying for allegedly creating a Facebook page using a picture of the 13-year girl, including “one of the minor in her bra and panties,” according to warrants.
According to search warrants, the mother of the victim thought that another 13-year-old girl was allegedly behind the incidents. The Sheriff’s Office did charge a juvenile in one of the three cases. Jones wouldn’t specify what case those charges stemmed from.