The legal fall out from one of the nation’s most sensational cyber-bulling incidents drew closer to a close Thursday when three of Phoebe Prince’s tormentors were placed on probation, while the statutory rape charge against another was dropped.
Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Prince, who had recently moved from Ireland to South Hadley, Mass., was tormented by six other youths — including two of whom she’d dated — before she hanged herself last year.
Yesterday, three of the girls involved in the case were placed on probation for misdemeanor charges of harassment or violating civil rights.
“If they satisfy their probation, the charges will be dismissed and they will not have criminal records,” the New York Times reports. The statutory rape charge against a sixth former student, who had sex with Phoebe when he was 18, was dropped.
Two other former South Hadley High School students had already received sentences of probation.
Phoebe’s mother, Anne O’Brien, although emotional throughout, said she was satisfied with the outcome.
Despite the light sentences, Mr. Sullivan said that the prosecution had sent an important message. “These cases, he said, signify “that bullying and harassment will not be tolerated in our schools.”