Teen accused of rigging Homecoming Queen election to be charged as adult
The teenager accused of illegally accessing fellow students’ school accounts to rig her high school’s Homecoming Queen election along with her mother will be charged as an adult in Florida in the United States.
Emily Rose Grover, who was only 17 at the time of the crime, and her 50-year-old mother, Laura Rose Carroll, were arrested last March, as per Pensacola News Journal on May 3.
Grover turned 18 on April 16, which is why she will be charged as an adult as Assistant State Attorney John Molchan noted that the “juvenile [court] cannot do anything or supervise them after they become 18.”
“And so it just makes better sense to move them into adult court where they can be supervised effectively,” Molchan was quoted as saying.
The mother-daughter duo is being charged with offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices (third-degree felony), unlawful use of a two-way communications device (third-degree felony), criminal use of personally identifiable information (third-degree felony) and conspiracy to commit these offenses (first-degree misdemeanor).
Grover and Carroll will be arraigned on May 14, according to the report. Despite charging Grover as an adult, the court can still impose juvenile sanctions, the report said.
Grover was a student of Tate High School, while her mother is an assistant principal of Belleview Elementary in Pensacola. They allegedly were able to commit the crime as Carroll had at the time district-level access to the school board’s FOCUS program.
The said program is a student information system that holds student data such as grades, medical history, test scores, disciplinary actions and others.
Authorities also determined that Carroll accessed 212 student Focus accounts in October 2020. In total, police found that 246 “student” votes were cast from Carroll’s phone and a computer associated with her home address, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was cited as saying by WKRG on March 15.
As early as August 2019, Carroll’s account had been used to access 372 school records, 339 of which were of Tate High School students. She has since been suspended from her position.
Other students told investigators that Grover, who has since been expelled from the school, also openly talked about looking at her peers’ test scores and other data by using her mother’s Focus account.
Although arrest records did not disclose who won the crown, Grover is believed to have been named Homecoming Queen based on videos and photos online, according to the report.
Grover is currently free on a $2,000 bond, while Carroll is free on a $6,000 bond. They both face a maximum 16-year sentence, according to the Associated Press yesterday, May 4. Ian Biong /ra
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