Mom of Accused Teen Cyber Bully Arrested on Child Abuse Charges

Vivian Vosburg is suspected of child abuse, police say.

October 18, 2013, 5:23 PM

Oct. 18, 2013— -- The mother of a teen accused of bullying a girl until she committed suicide was arrested today on suspicion of child abuse.

Vivian Vosburg, 30, of Lakeland, Fla., is charged with two counts of child abuse with bodily harm, and four counts of child neglect with great harm, according to the office of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Vosburg is the mother of Guadalupe Shaw. Shaw, 14, and another girl who is 12 are charged with felony aggravated stalking for leading the digital torment against the 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick. Sedwick leaped to her death from a concrete silo Sept. 9.

Vosburg's arrest is not believed to be in connection with the arrest of her daughter, but Judd said at a news conference this evening, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

Polk County Sheriff spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said the woman is accused of "beating children she had access to."

Judd said news of the daughter's arrest prompted several people to alert the sheriff's office to a video posted in July on Facebook in which the mother is seen beating at least one of her children.

The video shows Vosburg repeatedly punching a boy's head while another older boy is seen laying on the floor, seemingly unconscious. "They were all laughing, cussing and throwing F-bombs everywhere," Judd said, "which clearly indicates to us that this is a normal way of life."

Vosburg hit the child at least 10 times, said Judd. Vosburg was given a chance to defend herself when interviewed by police on Thursday.

"At first she said, I accidentally hit him, and then she said, the two boys were seriously fighting, and then well I was having a bad day," Judd said quoting Vosburg.

Later she added, "Well I did go too far that day. It got out of hand."

Shocked that the video was ever taken, "I'm astounded by this conduct, I'm astounded that it was posted, and then I'm even more astounded... that it stayed there," Judd said.

Earlier this week, Vosburg denied to ABC News that her daughter could have bullied Sedwick.

"I would check her Facebook every time she would get on it," she said Tuesday night.

Sheriff Judd earlier this week scoffed at the mother's comment, saying Shaw's parents were "in denial."

At the news conference today Judd said the video is enough evidence to show that "Vivian does not monitor Facebook, Vivian hasn't monitored Facebook, ... but if she wants to take credit, then she thought it was okay."

Vosburg is being held in county jail without bond until her first court appearance Saturday.

None of the children in the video suffered significant injuries. Vosburg is the biological mother of some of the children in the video but not all. She is in step relation to Guadalupe Shaw.

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