Student jailed for three weeks awaiting trial over Facebook posts
A Boston-area teenager remains in custody on $1 million bond nearly one month after being arrested over what he said on the Internet.
Eighteen-year-old Cameron B. D’Ambrosio of Methuen, Massachusetts was arrested on May 1 after police were alerted to “disturbing verbiage” on his personal Facebook page discovered by a fellow student at Methuen High School. D’Ambrosio allegedly posted original rap lyrics that prompted authorities to charge him with terrorism, and now he faces a potential 20 years in prison.
“He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing and said, ‘everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people,” Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon told the Valley Patriot earlier this month.
Three weeks after being surprised by police at his Methuen home, D’Ambrosio remains locked up.
“A kid is in prison. Away from his family. All for something he posted on Facebook” reads a support page for the high school student established this week by the Center for Rights and Fight for the Future. In 48 hours, the website received more than 500,000 views, and on Thursday the administrators said 1.2 million people had visited the page by the time D’Ambrosio went before a judge that morning for a scheduled bail hearing. The justice differed deciding at this time if D’Ambrosio should be released from custody.
“Cam's attorney made arguments that he should be released to his family and that all evidence (including testimony from the police) suggested that he was not a threat to anyone. He also noted that Cam was two weeks away from graduation, and Methuen High School had decided to grant him a diploma,” Fight for the Future wrote early Thursday. “We expect a decision within a few days and sincerely hope that Cam will be home safe with is family soon.”
Meanwhile, though, D’Ambrosio remains locked up if and until a judge decides he isn’t a hazard to the community.
At the time of his arrest, school officials and law enforcement alike applauded the speedy response and celebrate D’Ambrosio’s arrest as a victory against terrorism only a few days — and a few miles — from where two brothers allegedly detonated explosives at the Boston Marathon, killing three in the biggest act of terror in years on American soil. But nearly one month after being detained, authorities have not announced any proof that D’Ambrosio intended to act out the lyrics he left on his Facebook page.
“A search of Cam's house found no explosives, weapons, or ANY evidence that he was planning anything other than becoming the next Eminem,” his supporters write.
Among the Facebook content that alerted authorities was a song that was considered a warning of things to come.
“So when u see me (expletive) go insane and make the news, the paper, and the (expletive) federal house of horror known as the white house, Don’t (expletive) cry or be worried because all YOU people (expletive) caused this (expletive),” reads a redacted version of one post made available to the Boston Herald.
Fox News quoted another song, in which the amateur rapper wrote "(expletive) the Boston bombing, wait til you see what I do. I'm going to be famous."
On his support page, it’s noted that a key word was dropped from the line when it was reported by Fox. In actuality, D’Ambrosio wrote, “I’ma be famous rapping.”
“Suddenly something that sounds like a threat of violence is clearly just bragging about how good Cammy Dee is going to be in the rap game. Last we checked, teenage dreams of grandeur were not a crime,” the website claims.