Issaquah girl, 12, pleads not guilty in Facebook cyberbullying case
May 10, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 11:35 a.m. May 10, 2011
A 12-year-old Issaquah girl pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing charges, after prosecutors said she and a friend posted lewd messages and photographs on a classmate’s Facebook page.
The incident generated national attention and raised questions about bullying in the social media age.
The other girl charged in the case is 11. Because she is so young, she is scheduled for a hearing May 24 to determine if she understands the impact of the case. State law presumes children 8 to 11 lack the capacity to commit a crime.
The girl targeted in the case, Leslie Cote, is 12. The defendants and Leslie attend Issaquah Middle School together.
Under state law, the defendants face up to 30 days in juvenile detention, but community service is a more likely sentence.
The Issaquah Press usually does not name defendants age 12 or younger.
Issaquah Middle School students gathered Tuesday for a seminar about online security hosted by a Seattle Police Department specialist in Internet crimes against children. The event had been scheduled before the King County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges last month.
The school closed the event to television news crews.