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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Mom won’t be charged for recording device

Criminal charges have been dropped against a mother who sent her child to school with a recording device to document bullying, reports Cydney Henderson in USA Today.

Sarah Sims, 47, of Norfolk, Va., said she’d called and e-mailed school administrators to report her nine-year-old daughter was being bullied. They didn’t respond.

All charges against Sarah Sims have been dropped.

So she “placed a digital audio recorder in her daughter’s backpack in September in hopes of capturing audio from the fourth-grader’s classroom,” reports Henderson.

Norfolk police charged Sims with a felony — intercepting wire, electronic or oral communications — and with a misdemeanor — contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She faced as much as five years in prison.

On Wednesday the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute and asked a judge to dismiss all charges.

“Virginia is a one-party consent state,” writes Henderson, citing Digital Media Law. That means if one party consents to recording a conversation, the other party’s consent is not required. However, it’s not clear whether Sims’ 9-year-old daughter could give consent because she is a minor.

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