Teens Who Admitted to Bullying Phoebe Prince Sentenced

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The Prince Family

Phoebe Prince, a high school freshman, hanged herself after being bullied by classmates.

The five teenagers accused of carrying out a “three month campaign” of bullying that resulted in Phoebe Prince’s suicide last year have been sentenced. Three of the teens received probation and community service sentences, while two others only face probation.

On Thursday a juvenile court in Massachusetts sentenced Ashley Longe, who prosecutors called “the primary tormentor” on the last day of Prince’s life, with probation until her 19th birthday (she is now 18) and 100 hours of community service. Prince, a 15-year-old student who had recently moved from Ireland, killed herself in January 14, 2010 after being bullied by several students at a high school in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

(More on TIME.com: Phoebe Prince: When Bullying Goes Criminal)

Two other teens were also sentenced today on charges of criminal harassment, including Sharon Velasquez, 17, who will be held on probation until her 18th birthday for approaching Prince in the hall and calling her a “disparaging remark,” according to the Boston Globe. She confronted her again later in the day. The other teen, 18-year-old Flannery Mullins, will be on probation until her 19th birthday for a civil rights violation without bodily injury and disturbing a school assembly.

The sentences come one day after two other students, 18-year-olds Sean Mulveyhill and Kayla Narey, were sentenced on harassment charges to a year of probation and 100 hours of community service. Prosecutors said in the fall of 2009 Prince and Mulveyhill had a brief relationship that came to the attention of Narey, Mulveyhill’s girlfriend, and the pair and their friends bullied Prince as a result. In the first public apology, Narey wept during her statement to the judge and apologized to Prince’s family and addressed Phoebe herself.

“Phoebe … I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry for the unkind words I said about you. I’m sorry for what I wrote on my Facebook page. Most of all I’m sorry for Jan. 14, in the library and in the hallway, when I laughed when someone was shouting humiliating things about you. I am immensely ashamed of myself.”

(More on TIME.com: How to Bully-Proof Young Girls)

All five teens struck plea deals with the prosecution where, in exchange to pleading guilty on the misdemeanor charge of criminal harassment, the more serious charges they faced were dropped. Longe faced the most serious charges including one count of each assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, criminal harassment, disturbing a school assembly and a civil rights violation with a bodily injury resulting. The felony charge civil rights violation with bodily injury alone carries a 10-year maximum sentence. Some of the other accused teens also faced the violation of civil rights with bodily injury charge, as well as statutory rape and stalking.

Alfred Chamberland, a defense lawyer for one of the teens, said the plea deal was “an acknowledgment by the Northwestern district attorney’s office that these matters were overcharged and that the former administration brought felony indictments in cases which did not call for such.”

A sixth teen, 19-year-old Austin Renaud, has not been accused of bullying, but has been charged with statutory rape for having sex with Prince, who was 15 when he was 18. He is due in court on July 6.

During the trials, Prince’s mother, Anne O’Brien, addressed the court in her first public statement saying, “It is nearly impossible to measure the impact of Phoebe’s death upon our lives. … There is a dead weight that now sits permanently in my chest.”

One of the last text messages Prince sent was “I can’t take much more. …”

(More on TIME.com: How Not to Raise a Bully)

9 comments
DesmondCrandel
DesmondCrandel

I believe the scum that murdered phoebe should have been hacked to death with machettes along with their relateves while South Hadley wsa forced to watch at gunpoint.

ljgomesltd
ljgomesltd

Very sad story and yes i blame the school teachers and administration for allowing this to mushroom out of control. Any caring headmaster or teacher would assemble the entire school together and announce anyone found bullying will be expelled/punished and any victims bullying should immediately report it or come to the office whatever and log an official complaint, show evidence(facebook etc) etc.

Simples really, it is not rocket science, it boils down to caring and this school obviously did not care.

I just read on Wikki that Phoebe was part of a bullying gang in Ireland and the girl who was bullied had to leave the school, Pheobe did write a letter to her to apologise, it was over boys as well! Now i donnot see this as she got was she deserves, but again it shows up the lack of care and protection schools ARE NOT providing to individuals!!

PaulMurphy
PaulMurphy

Sleeping with both guys at 15 in a short space of time might not be great but certainly doesn't excuse the horrible abuse and the torment the poor girl went through RIP Phoebe x

TriciaGowton
TriciaGowton

Hi im from the uk and i think the teens who done this to Phoebe got off to lightly and should all have gone to jail for along time that's what i think..

R065wain
R065wain

What happened to the Authorities who witnessed this escapade. They should have been dismissed and stripped of their obligations and  their rights to Teach as well as the perpertrators

snoozer.tim
snoozer.tim

And the bully's are still laughing . well done justice system! 

ryder4life22187
ryder4life22187

i can't believe all they got is a year or more in probation. They should have this on their permanent record and actually have to do some time in prison. Does anyone really think they will learn from this. They just say they are sorry cause they know the courts all want to hear is remorse for their victim so they would get a lighter sentence.

DaphneProcz-Shorts
DaphneProcz-Shorts

After completing a huge course thesis on bullying last year, I came to the final conclusion that bullying is ignored and lied about by school officials, like in this case (the despicable school administration), because the school seeks to avoid further lawsuits as being culpable.  This is because if the school addresses the situation, then it admits knowledge, and then the school can be held somewhat responsible.  Avoiding blame is the biggest impetus pushing many of these schools--that and avoiding their own monetary losses.  My advice to any parent who is suffering with her child because of bullying is to do the following things:  (1) If you discuss anything with a school representative about bullying, place a recorder in visible sight when you are talking and after the person speaks for the first time, and refuse to put it away; (2) document everything you can with emails to the school, and use your Microsoft Outlook to have "received" receipt returned emails; (3) do not allow your child to erase a single thing said to her or him online or on her or his cell phone, keeping all of it; (4) file charges criminally with the local police, using your state's revised code definition of cyber stalking, stalking, or harassment; and if you are brave, (5) blog about it, using every piece of evidence you have in printscreens or online pictures, sending the link to the parents of the child harassing your kid if they confront you as a liar.  The school will go out of its way to keep the children's identity anonymous of who might be bullying your child, so make sure you child knows his or her name(s).  You can easily find them on Facebook.   Finally, initiate NO contact with the children yourself; leave that to the police and the courts.  Remember, these teachers might actually care, but they are trained by the school to acknowledge nothing.  And a last note, if you find out your child is the bully, for God's sakes, don't pretend it's not happening or try to minimize it. 

ProductoEndorsair
ProductoEndorsair

@DaphneProcz-Shorts Wonderfully said!

And please, let's make the connection between bullying and school shootings. There is much work to be done to make schools safer.