A Michigan woman is facing felony charges amid allegations that she held a cat and abused her daughter online for a year.
Kendra Gail Licari, of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, was charged earlier this week following a year-long investigation that began when Beal City Schools received a complaint about cyberbullying.
It was Licari’s daughter, and a boy her daughter was seeing at the time, who were the victims of this abuse, so Licari worked with the boy’s mother and school officials to find out who might have done it.
Although the complaint was not filed until December, when Licari was working as the girls’ basketball coach at his daughter’s school, Isabella County Prosecutor David Barberi said the messages began in early 2021.
The incidents took place on school grounds and without the use of school equipment, and it wasn’t long before district officials ran out of resources to track down the perpetrator.
The district asked law enforcement for help in January 2021, and in April even the FBI’s computer crimes unit got involved.
The federal agency was able to block the IP addresses used to send the messages, and saw that they were connected to Licari.
The mother is accused of using private networks (VPNs) to hide her location, Barberi explained, and even made it look like the messages were coming from places where other teenagers were located.
He used slang and abbreviations to try to make it look like the messages were coming from other teenagers. The prosecutor’s office compiled 349 pages of incriminating documents and social media messages.
After being tracked down, Licari confronted him and reportedly fully confessed to his actions. However, the reason why he targeted his daughter is still unclear.
The 42-year-old mother is facing two counts of child abduction, two counts of using a computer to commit a crime and obstructing the operation of the law. The latest case alleges that the mother tried to frame another child for her actions during the investigation.
Licari was released on a $5,000 bond following the arraignment. He could face years in prison, as using a computer to commit a crime is a 10-year felony, while stalking a minor and obstructing justice are five-year felonies.
Licari is scheduled to appear on December 29 for a hearing that will determine if there is enough evidence to commit him to trial.