(NEW YORK) — A woman in Michigan is facing charges for allegedly sending hateful and bullying messages to teenage students, including her own daughter, under a fake name and number.
Kendra Licari of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, faces five charges, including stalking a minor and obstruction of justice, according to a criminal complaint filed against the mother.
The charges come after a yearlong investigation into a complaint filed by Beal City Public Schools after Licari’s teenage daughter and her boyfriend reported getting harassing messages.
“Even when we realized that it wasn’t a kid, we weren’t expecting that it would be a parent,” William Chilman, the superintendent of Beal City Public Schools told ABC News’ Good Morning America.
“When they informed us later in the spring that they were suspecting that it possibly was her, it was a shock to all of us, I think everybody involved,” Chilman added.
Beal City Public Schools, in Michigan’s Isabella County, later reported the complaint to law enforcement.
The harassment allegedly began in early 2021, according to prosecutors. At the time, Licari was also working as a basketball coach at her daughter’s school.
The 42-year-old woman allegedly used software to hide her location and used several numbers and area codes, even allegedly trying to pin the origin of the messages as coming from her daughter’s classmates.
“In doing so, it would shield her and kind of cloak her identity or her digital identity,” David Barberi, an Isabella County prosecuting attorney, told GMA. “But eventually, we were able to see that her IP address was popping in and out right before and right after these messages were going through.”
Law enforcement claims they tracked down Licari by using the IP addresses attached to the messages and that they have uncovered hundreds of pages of hateful and harassing messages.
“We had tens of thousands of text messages, whether they were messages that were just for her daughter or some of her daughter’s friends. And the digital footprint was just insane,” Barberi said.
Investigators claim when confronted with the evidence, Licari admitted the messages were sent by her.
Licari has since been released on a $5,000 bond. She and her attorneys declined an ABC News request for comment.
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