Mom of Florida bullying suspect arrested on child abuse charges

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 18, 2013 6:40 PM

(Reuters) - Deputies have arrested a Florida woman whose 14-year-old daughter was charged earlier this week with maliciously harassing another young girl who jumped off a tower to her death.

Vivian Vosburg, 30, of Lakeland, Florida, was charged with two counts of child abuse with bodily harm and four counts of child neglect, the Polk County Sheriff said.

The charges were unrelated to the arrest of Vosburg's daughter, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

They stem from a video posted on Facebook, which showed two children fighting while a woman punched them and screamed profanities at them, the statement said.

Several other children, aged 9 to 14, were shown in the video shouting obscenities and moving around what appears to be a bedroom, the statement said.

Vosburg admitted to investigators that she was the woman in the video and that she had punched one child in the face and had punched the other several times on the back of the head and shoulders, the sheriff's office said.

She was jailed pending a hearing scheduled for Saturday morning.

Vosburg and her husband have seven children. The sheriff's office did not identify the children in the video but said Vosburg "had access" to them and that child protective services were called in.

Vosburg's 14-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old friend were charged on Tuesday with felony aggravated stalking of Rebecca Ann Sedwick, who was 12 when she committed suicide last month after being bullied at school and online.

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The two were among a large group of girls who "repeatedly and maliciously harassed" Sedwick, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said earlier in the week.

The girls fought with Sedwick at school, threatened other girls who were friendly with her and sent online messages calling her ugly and encouraging her to kill herself, Judd said.

Sedwick became so despondent that she climbed a tower at an abandoned cement plant and jumped to her death, he said.

Vosburg's 14-year-old daughter was held in juvenile custody after a brief hearing, and the 12-year-old was released to her parents.

(Reporting by Jane Sutton; editing by Gunna Dickson)