Mother of the year: US teen discovers cyber bully was her own mother

The mother even initially reported her own bullying to authorities, disguising herself using juvenile language and a VPN.

An estimated 60% of adolescents have experienced some form of cyberbullying over social media. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
An estimated 60% of adolescents have experienced some form of cyberbullying over social media.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A teenage girl who suffered from cyberbullying discovered that the anonymous troll behind hate messages she received over the past year was...her own mother!

Kendra Gayle Licari, from Michigan, abused her daughter online using juvenile slang to keep herself from being identified. She was arrested last month after a year-long investigation, to which FBI experts were called in to help search for the bully.

Even though Licari used a VPN (virtual private network) to disguise the source of the messages and spiced up her messages with juvenile slang to make them look like they were written by a boy or girl, detectives were eventually able to connect the messages to Licari.

The victim turned to her mother

After the victim turned to her mother for help, she allegedly reported the bullying to authorities. She even went so far as to cooperate with the mother of her daughter's boyfriend at the time to "help" find the cyberbully who sent the poor girl up to a dozen messages a day.

Initially, school authorities could not help and local law enforcement did not have the resources to track down the culprit.

BULLYING BY online ‘mean girls’ can have a deep psychological, social and emotional impact.  (credit: TNS)BULLYING BY online ‘mean girls’ can have a deep psychological, social and emotional impact. (credit: TNS)

Isabella County Prosecutor David Barbary told local radio station WKRC: "When the case first came to our office, it was strange and almost unbelievable." He added that this is a continuous campaign of abuse: "We are talking about several hundred text messages, there are more than 1,000 pages of text in the file." Barbari said the messages were "mostly disturbing, humiliating and mean text messages."

However, after computer experts from the FBI identified that the messages came from Licari's phone, she broke down under investigation and confessed to the bullying spree against her daughter.

Bill City School Superintendent William Chilman said the 42-year-old Licari was a basketball coach at her daughter's school at the time of her actions. Licari was arraigned on Monday, December 12 - and released on $5,000 bail.

Using a computer to commit a crime is a felony in the US, with a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Licari was also charged with stalking a minor and obstructing justice - both of which could carry an additional 5 years behind bars.

At this time it is unclear if there is enough evidence to transfer the case to trial and the hearing on the issue was postponed to January 12, without a reason being given.