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Juveniles receive probation for hacking and cyber-stalking

The Internet has changed the way we live. Thanks to the Internet, it is easier to stay in touch with family and friends and business can be conducted at the speed of light. However, the Internet is not immune to criminal laws and people are charged with Internet crimes in Pennsylvania every day.

Many children are potential victims of Internet crimes. However, many children find themselves accused of Internet crimes when childish pranks have serious repercussions. It is an unfortunate reality that crimes committed as juvenile can haunt a person for a lifetime and the stakes can be very high for juvenile defenders.

Recently, two girls faced felony hacking charges after deciding to prank a former friend on Facebook. Allegedly, the hacking victim used a computer at one of the defendant's home to access her Facebook account and that computer stored the girl's login information.

After the defendants, ages 11 and 12, had a falling out with the girl, they allegedly logged into her Facebook account using the stored password information. According to the police, they intended to embarrass and torment the victim by posting explicit contents on her Facebook page and sent sexually explicit messages to people using the compromised Facebook account.

After being convicted on felony computer trespass and cyber-stalking charges, the 12-year-old defendant appeared in court this week to receive her sentence. Thankfully, the judge did not throw the book at her. The 12-year-old defendant received a deferred sentence that required her to attend counseling and perform 20 hours of community service among other requirements. The 11-year-old defendant was sent to a juvenile diversion program. If she follows the terms of the program, the charges against her will be dismissed and erased from her record.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Girl, 12, sentenced for cyberstalking," Jennifer Sullivan, 14 July 2011

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