DA drops statutory rape charge in bullying case

AP News
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Posted: May 05, 2011 5:05 PM

Prosecutors have dropped a statutory rape charge against a teenager who dated a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl who later was bullied and committed suicide.

Austin Renaud was arrested at the same time as five South Hadley classmates charged in the bullying of Phoebe Prince. He was the only one not charged with bullying Prince, who hanged herself in January 2010.

The five teens acknowledged that they participated in bullying Prince and were sentenced to probation during court hearings Wednesday and Thursday. Prosecutors agreed to drop the most serious charges against them.

District Attorney David Sullivan said prosecutors decided to drop the charge against Renaud at the request of Prince's family and "in the interests of justice."