Mom-daughter team in diaper attack

May 23, 2008 2:35:22 PM PDT
An Indiana mother is facing criminal charges after allegedly helping her 15-year-old daughter scatter baby diapers scrawled with vulgar slogans on a classmate's lawn.Julie Phillips, 50, allegedly helped purchase the diapers at a local CVS pharmacy for her daughter, 15, and her daughter's friend, according to a Bloomington, Ind., police report obtained by

In addition to driving the two girls to the classmate's home where they left the diapers, Phillips allegedly helped come up with the messages written on them, which included "close your legs," "baby killer," "you have no friends" and "bitch," according to police.

Phillips is facing criminal misdemeanor charges of harassment and trespassing as well as a civil lawsuit filed by Kim Capps, the mother of the daughter victimized by the prank. A lawyer for the victim claims the prank led the young woman to attempt suicide.

"[Capps' daughter] was hurt, distraught, embarrassed and afraid she was going to be branded at school, so she tried to take her own life," attorney Betsy Greene, who is representing the Capps family, told

According to Greene, Capps and her husband removed the diapers from their front lawn before their teenage daughter woke up on May 3, but not before taking digital photographs of the scene to show to police. Their daughter, who later found the photographs, took a combination of over-the-counter and prescription drugs and was found by a neighbor to be unresponsive in her home later that day, the lawyer said.

The diaper incident may stem from an altercation that occurred between the girls last year, Green speculates, in which Capps alleges the Phillips girl assaulted her daughter.

Greene said that she did not know whether the teens were fighting over a boy, despite the suggestive slogans written on the diapers. One diaper was tagged with the number of the local Planned Parenthood clinic.

Phillips' lawyer, Geffrey Grodner, did not return messages left by ABC News but told local news station KARE-11 that his client regrets for her actions.

"She's devastated," said Grodner. "In retrospect she wishes she hadn't done it."

"I don't know if there is an acceptable explanation to the victim's family as to why this all happened," added Grodner.

The Capps are suing for an unspecified amount for general damages, including medical bills and any future costs for continued treatment they say their daughter will likely receive ? both for psychological problems and any physical ones that arise from her drug intake.

"I understand that sometimes kids can be really tough on each other, but this goes beyond just pranking someone or toilet papering their house," said Greene. "There was a real maliciousness to this."

This incident comes on the heels of the tragic case of Megan Meiers, the 13-year-old Minnesota girl who committed suicide after being teased on MySpace allegedly by a neighbor's mother and another woman.

Lori Drew was indicted earlier this month for her alleged role in creating the fake MySpace page ? in the name of Josh Evans ? that she reportedly used to contact Meiers in an effort to find out what she was saying about her own daughter.

Drew's family said in a statement released by their attorney, H. Dean Steward, "We are deeply saddened to hear of return of federal charges against Lori Drew ? The US Attorneys Office in Los Angeles has taken a tragic case and added to that tragedy by their unfounded indictment."

Meier's parents have said their daughter's October 2006 death was the result of a rapid decline of her online relationship with Josh, whom she believed to be a 16-year-old boy who first flattered the self-conscious girl and then taunted her.

If convicted, Drew faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.