Michigan Woman Arrested After Anonymously Cyberbullying Her Own Kid
A Mt. Pleasant woman was accused of engaging in a sophisticated catfishing scheme that targeted two teenagers and has been charged with five crimes in total.
Officials say 42-year-old Kendra Gail Licari was charged Monday afternoon with two counts of stalking a minor, one count of obstruction of justice, and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime. The obstruction charge alleges that Licari attempted to frame another minor for what she herself had done.
The case began with an investigation into cyberbullying taking place after a complaint in the Beal City school district involving Kendra's daughter and the boy she was seeing. When the complaint was made in December 2021, Kendra was employed as the girls' basketball coach but was replaced in a coaching change.
District officials quickly ran against the limits of their resources, because the incidents took place off of school grounds and didn't involve school devices. In mid-January, the district asked for assistance from law enforcement.
Licari is accused of having used virtual private networks to mask the location she was at during the course of her harassment. She would change her location to appear that she was where kids the same age as her daughter traveled.
Officials say she would also use a specific identity throughout, pretending to be someone the same age as her daughter and boyfriend. She used slang and abbreviations in the texting.
Barberi said on Monday that his office compiled a total of 349 harassing text and social media messages during the course of the investigation.
The investigation eventually exhausted local authorities' abilities in their computer crime division, so the case was then turned over to the FBI in April.
When confronted, Licari reportedly confessed in full. The only thing that's not known or understood, is why she did any of it.
Licari was released on a bond of $5,000 on Monday. Her charges include:
- Using a Computer to Commit a Crime (10-year felony)
- Stalking a Minor (5-year felony)
- Obstruction of Justice (5-year felony)
Licari is scheduled for a December 29th hearing to determine if she will be taken to trial.
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