He noted that the 12-year-old and her family were apologetic after the arrests, in contrast to what he said was the defiance of the 14-year-old and her family. After the 12-year-old's first appearance in court this week, a state judge released her to her family but ordered the older girl to remain in state custody.
"The judge saw one family contrite and remorseful. The other child was cold, callous and not caring," Judd said. "He remanded her back to the custody of the juvenile system."
The parents of the older girl denied she bullied Rebecca and said their daughter's social media account had been hacked, denials Judd characterized as suspicious.
He added, "These parents went out to lunch and forgot to return."
Judd noted that the investigation was bogged down by the difficulty in getting all of the Internet communications that were sent by the girls, including on Facebook. At least two foreign websites were used, one in Canada and another in or near Russia.
Debbie Johnston, a Florida teacher and a partner in High's organization, supports Judd's tough actions.
"We are finally enforcing the laws on the books," Johnston said.
When her 15-year-old son killed himself after being bullied, Johnston began advocating for a new cyber-bullying law in Florida, and the state became one of the first to enact legislation. She said that until recent years, schools put the onus of bullying on the victim.
"We have finally begun to stop sweeping the problem under the carpet and started holding the culprits accountable," she said.