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Tweets joke about fake rape; teens face no charges

5:33 PM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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BOWIE, Md (WUSA9) -- It all turned out to be a hoax, but investigators from Georgia to here in Bowie were in an uproar this week after a series of tweets offered a blow by blow account of the rape and murder of an unconscious young woman.

A couple of Prince George's teens have now received a stern warning from police. And we have a warning for you, some of the pictures could be disturbing.

In the sometimes terrifying wild west of the social web, it sounded all too possible. Early New Year's morning, a man with the handle Lil Juan tweeted out a photo of a passed out young woman and said "Somebody put something in her drink... Me and my brother bout to rape this b..."
   
It continued... "Her pulse not even beating no more..." "Stop tellin me to call da police! I look like snitching!"

Somebody else jumped in... "I changed her clothes... shes (sic) sleeping piecefully (sic) for now..."
   
And it got worse... "I got that b... in my trunk right now, hahaha. Call the cops, tell em she only has 10 minutes of oxygen left."
   
In alarm, several people who knew the tweeters contacted the Bowie City Police, hoping they could rescue her. "Of course, we took it seriously," says Chief John Nesky.

Investigators quickly figured out it was a couple of teens from nearby high schools. When they confronted them, they determined there was no girl, no rape, no murder. 

"They thought it would be a funny thing to cut and paste photos from another website, put it out on their Twitter account, and make these highly inappropriate comments," says Chief Nesky.

The next day, someone deleted the Twitter account. The police chief says the teens appeared remorseful, and merely posting a vicious joke does not constitute a crime.

"(We) sat them down, counseled them about the inappropriateness of the actions. Talked to parents about it. So hopefully it will be a life lesson for them," says the chief.

It could well haunt them for life. The account is gone, but the tweets have been captured and live on on the Internet.

Chief Nesky is hoping the incident sparks some serious conversations between children and parents about appropriate behavior on social media.

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