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NAPLES, Fla. – A Florida judge on Monday dismissed a stalking case TikTok star Ava Majury brought against her juvenile schoolmate.
The 15-year-old girl tested in a Collier County, Florida, courtroom against a boy from her high school in a criminal stalking case.
Her father, Rob Majury, filed the stalking complaint in January against the juvenile from Naples, who was accused of intimidating and following Ava starting in 2021 after a separate stalking incident.
Ava alleged that despite her school’s 2,300-student population, the juvenile “was always behind” her or in her general vicinity at school, “no matter what,” during the fall 2022 semester. She accused the boy of going out of his way to follow her around school for months and showing up to an October meeting for the girls’ soccer team on which she played despite not playing sports or having a connection to the team.
“I was terrified. I took myself out of many things that I love. … I took myself out of soccer when we were headed to state mid-season,” Ava said in her Monday testimony, adding that she has “nightmares about everything” and feels “scared at night.”
Ava has since been pulled out of school.
The case follows a separate stalking incident that led to chaos in July 2021 when an alleged 18-year-old stalker named Eric Rohan Justin from Maryland showed up to her Florida home with a shotgun. Her father – a former New Jersey police officer — shot and killed Justin, who had been following Ava for months on social media and hounding her for pictures.
FLORIDA TIKTOK STAR WHOSE DAD GUNNED DOWN ARMED HOME INVADER TO TESTIFY AGAINST ANOTHER ALLEGED STALKER
Majury and her lawyers argued that the accused juvenile had been in communication with Justin who, in Ava’s words, “tried to murderher family.
Ava says she had blocked Justin in response to inappropriate requests for “explicit content” and that he was harassing her and her friends. She also blocked the accused juvenile stalker, whom she said began to follow her in school after the shooting incident in her Monday testimony.
Despite blocking the juvenile, she turned to him occasionally for information about Justin because she knew the two had been in contact with each other. The juvenile sent Ava photos of his Snapchat conversations with Justin at her request. In one such conversation, Justin sent the juvenile a grape emoji with the phrase, “I want to [grape emoji] her, bro,” which Ava explained during her testimony meant “rape.” Snapchat can detect written the word “rape” but not the grape emoji.
The boy took photos of conversations with Justin on his phone using an iPad because he didn’t want to screenshot the conversations. When one Snapchat user screenshots a conversation, other users involved in that conversation get an alert notifying them of the screenshot.
The juvenile’s attorney argued that he was voluntarily sending Ava information about Justin in an attempt to help her and that Ava’s testimony did not constitute the definition of stalking.
The judge deliberated for about 10 minutes after the hour-and-a-half-long hearing, ultimately deciding to dismiss the case.
The social media star said in a February statement posted to her Instagram that she and her family have suffered since the incident. She deleted her main TikTok account, though her Instagram page is still live but inactive.
“I’m not going to let one negative thing…stop me from doing what I love,” she said Monday.
The case has highlighted the dangers of social media stardom and how it can take a toll on not only youth mental health but physical safety.
Rob Majury and Kim Majury said all they’ve “ever wanted is the best for Ava.”
“While becoming social media famous was not in the plan, we support our daughter’s endeavors entirely,” the pair said in a February statement. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think a fun pastime could lead to a near-death experience.”
They continued: “We implore local authorities to take this frightening ordeal seriously and parents to encourage their children to report suspect activity on social media and not be complacent or, worse, complicit in threatening behavior that too often leads to tragedy.”
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Majury downloaded TikTok when she was 13 and began posting videos of herself dancing. By the next year, she had amassed a million followers — three quarters of them male, according to The New York Times. Majury told the outlet that she was making upwards of $1,000 for a single promotional video due to her large following.
In 2020, more than 30% of US TikTok users are between the ages of 10 and 29, according to Taylor Cohen, global industry strategist for TikTok US. Search engine optimization (SEO) expert Brian Dean marked a higher number — 47.7% of US users between the ages of 10 and 29 — in a February blog post.
Eight attorney general are investigating TikTok’s impact on youth mental health as Congress cracks down on the negative effects of social media on children.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.