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Pa. teen pleads guilty to witness intimidation via Twitter

PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia teen charged with witness intimidation and making terroristic threats by way of Twitter pleaded guilty Wednesday in family court.

The 17-year-old Martin Luther King High School student used Twitter to post a photo of the victim and copies of secret investigative documents related to a 2012 attempted shooting.

Police initially suspected the teenager was linked to a now-defunct anonymous Instagram account called "rats215," which posted witness' photos next to statements they gave police. Prosecutors said the investigation continues but the teen isn't accused in that case.

Assistant District Attorney Jan McDermott said she would ask for "a significant period of confinement" to a juvenile treatment facility when he is sentenced Dec. 16.


According to CBS Philly, McDermott said she could not think “of a more significant type of intimidation” than the type illustrated in this case.


“…You are actually putting the pictures out there, calling [the witnesses] rats and showing people what they said in their statements in order for harm to come to them, so that ultimately, the shooting case can’t go forward,” she said.

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