Online harassment is a serious issue, but one teen was left stunned after discovering she was being anonymously bullied by her own mum
The investigation began after Beal City Schools received a complaint about cyberbullying.
Kendra Gail Licari was charged in December 2022 after a year-long investigation into the claims.
Licari’s daughter and her boyfriend were the victims of harassment, with prosecutors saying that the messages began at the start of 2021.
Licari, who had been working as a basketball coach at her daughter’s school at the time of the complaints, did not use any school devices for the harassment. The incidents also took place away from school property.
From January 2021, the district reached out to law enforcement for help in locating Licari’s daughter’s cyberbully. By April, they had enlisted the FBI’s help too.
The bureau’s computer crime division located the IP addresses linked to the messages, which led them to Licari.
The 42-year-old used VPNs to hide her location. Prosecutor David Barberi explained that Licari even attempted to make it look as if her messages were coming from areas where other teenagers were.
Barberi’s team uncovered 349 pages of harassing texts and social media messages, which included language such as slang that was designed to make it sound as though the messages were coming from a teenager.
Licari was charged with two counts of stalking a minor, two counts of using a computer to commit a crime and one count of obstruction of justice.
She pled guilty to the charge of stalking, with the prosecutor dropping the additional charges as a result.
In April 2023, she was sentenced to 19 months to five years for the charge of stalking a minor.