PE teacher faces prison after catfishing teenage daughter and her boyfriend

A school basketball coach is facing prison after catfishing her own daughter and daughter's boyfriend – who are both 14.

Kendra G. Licari, 42, was arrested on December 12 after a thorough investigation by Isabella County Sheriffs in Michigan, USA, and admitted she had been behind hundreds of messages harassing the two teenagers online. Licari was due to appear at a scheduled hearing on Thursday, January 12 but waived her right and now awaits a date for her trial.

She is charged with two counts of using a computer to commit a crime and stalking a minor, plus one count of obstruction of justice. The charge relating to computer crime carries a maximum 10-year penalty, while the other two charges are each punishable by five-years.

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Officers at Isabella County Sheriff's department first launched an investigation in January of last year after receiving complaints from Licari and another mother that their children were receiving harassing messages over text and through social media apps. The two teens (one girl, one boy) were dating at the time and complained of receiving multiple messages daily.

The issue was first raised to officials at Beal City Public Schools, where the teens were attending and where Licari was working as a basketball coach at the time. Personnel at Beal City quickly passed the complaints over to the sheriff's office, however, once the teens began receiving messages outside of school hours.

By that stage the messages had been occurring for months, with official documents claiming the crimes took place between September 2021 until the following February – even after sheriffs began their investigation.

Sheriff Michael J. Main revealed the amount of messages totalled in the hundreds. Discussing the nature of the messages, he said: "They were harassing about their relationship. They were derogatory comments about her daughter and other students. Pretty much the same kind of comments, just over and over again.”

Some of the details in the messages referred to school sporting events, which among other things, led police to "believe it was a different person or a different student, but that didn’t come to fruition." Police then determined the messages could not possibly have come from another student of similar age, which kickstarted officers to follow a sequence of checks which ultimately led them to Licari.

After obtaining warrants and requesting information from social media apps and telephone providers, eventually police were able to trace the messages back to Licari's home using the phone number and data from cell towers. Licari admitted to the crimes after police had seized a number of electronic devices, but did not explain her motives behind the messages.

Police have since gleaned evidence from the devices, while Licari is currently out on bail ahead of her forthcoming trial.

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