It has been about four years now but it all started when my oldest daughter was in 8th grade, It was her last year in middle school, before venturing off to high school, to be with the big kids. She began receiving calls on her cell phone from a blocked number. The boy on the other end told her he had a crush on her and that he was in love with her. At first we thought it was innocent. The calls became more frequent and disturbing. This person was now describing in specific detail, sexual acts that he was going to perform on her. We called the police immediately. I remember the officer saying to me, "Well did she do anything to cause this?" As if she wasn't already being victimized?!?! He advised us, that there wasn't much we could do since he was calling from a blocked number. I was determined one way or another though, that I was gonna catch this little s.o.b. I documented every incident, date, time, conversation and name of every police officer I came in contact with. I contacted the school and made them aware of the situation as well. Another call, he stated he was in front of our house watching her and he was going to rape and kill her. During one of these calls, he slipped up. He forgot to block the number. I thought to myself, "ah ha got him!" but it wasn't that easy. The police were very reluctant to help us. Our cell phone carrier said, they couldn't release the phone records to us without a court order, and I felt like we were hitting a brick wall. It took my investigating to find out who this individual was and in the process found out, it wasn't just one person in on this cruel harassment, but it was four. It turned out to be a female "friend" of my daughter, another fellow student and two of their neighborhood friends, which my daughter did not know. The reason? They thought it would be funny to scare the life out of her. I went to the police station with all of there names, parents names and addresses to press charges. The officer explained to me how difficult it would be to get charges to stick, because they were minors. The first process was a hearing at the Board of Education. Three of the youngest kids admitted their guilt but stated the oldest boy, a seventeen year old high school student, was the ring leader and he bullied them as well. Now he would admit to nothing. I remember he sat there with his head down the entire time, red in the face, shaking his leg irritably, back and forth. When the mediator questioned him, he contradicted himself. When she pressed him, he got more and more agitated and spoke back at her with disrespect. The mediator's conclusion was for us to proceed forward with the charges and we did. It took a year to get into court, what a joke that entire process was. We provided the phone records, which were traced back to this boys cell phone. The court subpoenaed Three of the other kids as witnesses, but found out apparently that because they are juveniles, their parents didn't have to enforce them to testify. So we ended up with one witness who was willing. The defendant hired a high priced attorney, who advised him to plead the 5th of course, which he took advantage of. While my 14 year old daughter had to sit on the stand, to have her words twisted and recollect the events from over a year prior. The prosecutor presented to the judge the phone records and was able to prove it was the defendants number. Our witness also testified, that he made the harassing and threatening calls. However, in the end none of it mattered. The Judge stated, he believed that the defendant was involved but, in his words "it's just kids being kids" Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect him to receive jail time, maybe just a short community service. I thought at least maybe the judge would give a little lecture regarding the severity of the situation. Possibly suggest some counseling or advice. Show some compassion for the ordeal my daughter went through. SOMETHING! As scary, frustrating and disappointing as this entire experience was, I would go through the process allll over again, to defend and protect my daughter and to teach her as well as my other children, to stand up, whether it is for yourself or someone else, stand up. It is simply the right thing to do.
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