76ºF

No charges filed in alleged cyberbulling of Alamo Heights teen who committed suicide

Bexar County DA says 'insufficient evidence' to support charges

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday that it has determined there to be "insufficient evidence" to support charges in the alleged cyberbullying-related suicide of Alamo Heights teenager David Molak.

Family members found Molak, 16, dead in the backyard on Jan. 4 after he was reported missing. Family members said he had tried twice before to commit suicide.

A police report detailed the alleged cyberbullying, which occurred on Instagram. The report said the alleged bullies used phrases such as “Let’s put him in a body bag” and “We’re going to put him six feet under.”

Shortly after Molak's death, his oldest brother, Cliff Molak, said the teenager had been struggling for some time.

“He was a kind soul. He didn’t know how handle the situation,” Cliff Molak said. “Over the past few months, he sort of became a shell of a person.”

He said his brother's bullying started at Alamo Heights High School and followed him after he transferred to a private school.

District Attorney Nico LaHood said Wednesday that "cyberbullies talk venom behind keyboards."

"Many of them try to have false cover, a fake name. They are the ultimate coward, in my opinion," LaHood said.

His feelings on cyberbullying aside, LaHood said the investigation into the allegations did not warrant charges against the unnamed teenager accused in the case.

"When you're talking about cyberbullying, we don't have statutes available to us other than harassment, and the harassment statute is very vague," LaHood said. "So what we do is take a statute like harassment, we try to merge it with the facts presented to us and when we look at the facts and the evidence turned over to us by law enforcement. We just couldn't make it match."

LaHood said he spoke with David Molak's father about the decision.

"I'm a daddy myself. I get it," LaHood said. "So I feel for the family for the their loss, but I also have to look at this objectively and make sure we make an assessment off the evidence that's provided to us."

The Molak family issued the following statement on the DA's decision:

"We are grateful to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office and the San Antonio Police Department for so diligently investigating the cyberbullying case involving David.

"Unfortunately, it's clear there were roadblocks that inhibited their investigation that we hope to address through legislation. The laws regarding this new type of social media harassment simply have not kept up with the times.

"Although extremely disappointed, it has only made our family more determined to pursue David’s Law that will ensure cyber bullying is a punishable offense in order to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions."

Read the full statement from the DA's office below:

On February 17, 2016, the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office received the investigation into the alleged harassment of David Molak. After conducting a thorough review of the evidence submitted by the San Antonio Police Department, the DA’s Office determined there is insufficient evidence to support criminal prosecution related to criminal charges. Therefore, at this time there will be no criminal charges stemming from this incident. Our Office has been in constant contact with the Molak family and their attorneys and they have been notified of this decision.

Click here for more information on how to prevent cyberbullying.


About the Authors: