The mother of a 14 year old girl charged with stalking in connection to the bullying case of Rebecca Sedwick, who later committed suicide, was arrested Friday on unrelated charges of child abuse and child neglect.

From WTSP-10News:

The mother of one of the girls facing charges in connection to the bullying suicide of Rebecca Sedwick has been arrested herself.The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says 30-year-old Vivian Vosburg is charged with two counts of child abuse with bodily harm and four counts of child neglect.

Sheriff Grady Judd showed cell phone video in a press conference Friday afternoon depicting Vosburg viciously punching two children involved in a fight inside of a residence.  The video was originally uploaded on Facebook.

Sheriff Judd says Vosburg admitted to being the woman in the video who is seen punching one child in the face with her fist and punched another several times in the back of the head.

Investigators say Vosburg’s arrest is not connected to the October 14 arrest of her 14-year-old daughter, [redacted].

Vosburg claimed she was breaking up a fight between two juveniles and told a detective interviewing her that she knew she should not have hit the juveniles with her fists, according to a press release at the Polk County Sheriff’s office website (affidavit here).

According to the affidavit, on Thursday, October 17, 2013, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received several tips from residents about a video posted on the social media site Facebook.  The video was of two juvenile subjects fighting, an adult female punching the fighting juveniles and screaming profanities, and several other juveniles shouting profanities and moving around in what appears to be a bedroom of a residence.  A total of six juveniles ranging in ages from 9 – 14 were observed in the video.

The adult was identified as Vivian Vosburg, Vosburg is [the 14 year old’s] mother.  [The 14 year old] was arrested on Monday, October 14, 2013, charged with Aggravated Stalking in an unrelated investigation.

[…] After ensuring the children’s safety, detectives contacted Vosburg.  On late Thursday afternoon, October 17th, Vosburg agreed to a non-custodial interview and told detectives the video was of her breaking up a fight.  Vosburg admitted that she is the woman in the video, and admitted to punching one of the juveniles in the face with a fist and punching the second juvenile several times on the back of the head and between his shoulders. She stated she continued to hit one juvenile, after the other fell to the floor, because he was attempting get up from the bed. Vosburg stated she knew she should not have hit the juveniles with her fists.

The case of 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick has sparked much debate since the arrest of two middle school girls, aged 12 and 14, who are alleged to have bullied Sedwick for months leading up to her suicide.  The two were charged with felony aggravated stalking earlier this week.  The case has led many to question whether criminal charges are appropriate in juvenile bullying cases, while others maintain the  response was appropriate and will draw more attention to the problem of bullying, online and offline.

Sheriff Grady Judd  has been outspoken in his criticism of the two girls’ parents throughout the course of the investigation into the Sedwick case.  He has complained that Vosburg especially did not monitor her daughter’s activity on social media or take steps to intervene, a characterization that Vosburg has denied.   On Wednesday, Judd had said he would charge the parents if he could, sparking even further debate on the issue as to whether or not parents should be held accountable for their child’s bullying.


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