'Jessie Slaughter' Dad Charged With Child Abuse


"As a father, I was just trying to support my daughter and get people to stop hating," Gene Leonhardt said.

Diane Leonhardt said the entire experience has been frightening.

"When this first started, we were very afraid,' she said.

Experts Say Jessi Slaughter Video Highlights Dangers of Cyberbullying

Last year, Jessi's said her social life had largely been confined to her computer. She told ABCNews.com that most of her friends are online.

"I don't really get along with people from school that much," she said. "They don't like me because they see me and they think I'm weird."

On Stickam, which has had its share of controversy over a proliferation of child pornography images, Jessi would chat back and forth with her cyber friends.

She was also active on the teen gossip site Sticky Drama. It was there, she said, that her nightmare started when another user took a picture of Jessi and a friend at a concert off the photo-sharing site PhotoBucket and posted it along with the rape allegation.

But Jessi, whose account has since been removed at Stickam, insists she's not too young for this kind of activity.

"I think age doesn't really matter," she said. "It's the person -- him or herself ... and how they deal with that."

Jessi told "Good Morning America" that she was sent to a mental health facility when authorities believed she might be suicidal. She insisted that she wouldn't kill herself, but said she could understand how someone could be pushed over the edge.

"I think that's completely wrong that people would taunt people to some degree that they would actually kill themselves over it," she said. "And that's actually completely wrong and whoever is doing it should be locked away for a really long time."

Internet security expert Parry Aftab, founder of WiredSafety.org, agreed that this back and forth of online rants and cyberbullying should have been stopped before it ever got to the point where Jessi was receiving death threats.

"At some point we need to have an adult in charge," she told "Good Morning America." "Don't try to take it into your own hands."

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