May 10, 2011 at 10:54 AM PDT
May 10, 2011 at 5:29 PM PDT
SEATTLE — A 12-year-old girl who prosecutors say sought revenge by bullying a former friend with her own Facebook account pleaded not guilty on Monday.
The girl has been charged in juvenile court with first-degree computer trespass and cyberstalking.
The girl, along with an 11-year-old girl also charged in the case, were classmates at Issaquah Middle School with the 12-year-old victim.
The three were friends but had a falling out that prosecutors say spilled onto Facebook.
The two girls who have been charged allegedly logged into the victim’s Facebook account and edited pictures to depict a knife pointing at her head, drew devils horns and added word bubbles reading “I’m a slut.”
Using the victim’s account, the girls posted comments on other profiles saying “Have sex with me,” and soliciting men for oral sex.
“I was hurt and sad and very angry,” Leslie Cote said in an interview last month.
KOMO News normally does not identify crime victims, but Leslie and her family chose to discuss the incident that she says left her crying and unable to sleep for weeks.
“Some people looked at me differently, and then judged me differently now because of what happened,” she said.
Leslie said the former friends had access to her Facebook account because she had accidentally saved the password in the web browser on one of their computers.
When police confronted the two girls, both allegedly admitted they accessed Leslie’s Facebook account without permission because they were mad at her.
“This case reveals the dark side of social media sites used by young people,” King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a news release. “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.”
The 11-year-old girl who allegedly took part in the scheme has not been arraigned. A hearing has been scheduled for later this month for a judge to determine whether the girl understands that her actions were wrong.
According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, state law presumes that children age 8 to 11 are not capable of committing crimes.
The judge also ordered the 12-year-old not to have contact with the victim, either in person or online.
If convicted as charged, the girls could serve up to 30 days in juvenile detention.