BARTOW (FOX 13) - A mother whose pre-teen child is accused of conspiring with a friend to stab classmates at Bartow Middle school says the public perception about her daughter is wrong.
"They don't know anything about my daughter. She's not evil. She's not any of the things they say she is," the girl's mother told FOX 13 News.
She asked not to be identified to protect her daughter's identity.
Her 12-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old friend made national headlines after school officials and a school resource officer appear to have thwarted their plot to kill and dismember fellow students, according to the Bartow Police Department.
According to Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall, the girls said they "were willing to drink blood and possibly eat flesh."
The plan, which the girls partially detailed in written notes found by investigators at one of the girls' homes, was stopped by school officials who found the girls hiding in the bathroom.
The mother of the 12-year-old said there are factors that could have contributed to her daughter's alleged behavior.
"Since May of last year, I've been dealing with the fact that their father was molesting them while I was not here," she said. "My daughter, of course, has been having problems. She was being raped by her father."
Polk County jail records appear to back her story up.
The girl's father has been in jail since December on charges of sexual battery by a custodian, molestation, and dozens of counts of child porn.
"They need to know my baby was tortured and hurt and she has been going through a lot of things. She's been going to counseling and she's been doing better," she said. "I don't know what's brought this on besides the fact that she's continued to be bullied at school every day."
Both girls involved in the plan were arrested. They remain in custody.