A Missouri woman who was convicted of three misdemeanors related to the MySpace harassment of a teenager who committed suicide will likely face probation and a $5,000 fine, according to a report.
The attorney for Lori Drew filed a pre-sentence report urging the court to go with probation and a fine. Furthermore, her lawyer, H. Dean Steward, also wants the convictions to be dismissed. Steward said MySpace wasn't to blame, and the girl's alleged history of mental illness and bouts of depression were more to blame than anything else.
Drew reportedly created a fake MySpace account posing as a teenage boy and sent flirtatious messages to Megan Meier, one of her neighbors. Shortly after, the fictitious teenage boy dumped Megan while also saying the world wouldn't miss her. The girl hanged herself after reading the messages sent through MySpace.
After originally being convicted last November, Drew faces three years in jail and a fine up to $300,000 related to the three misdemeanor counts of accessing computers without authorization. She originally was charged with four felony counts, though she was cleared of three of them and the jury was deadlocked on the final felony count.
"This is about justice," Megan's mother said after the verdict. "It's justice not only for Megan but it's justice for everybody who has had to go through this with the computer and being harassed."
Drew reportedly can't pay the $5,000 fine since she lost her job when she stopped working in November 2007. In addition, several neighbors have harassed and threatened her, leading up to a brick being thrown through one of her windows. The family eventually had to move out of the neighborhood.
She is expected to be sentenced on May 18, and Steward has asked that Megan's friends and family not speak at the sentencing, as it's "still a computer fraud case."
quote: The emotional distress suffered by the plaintiffs must be "severe." This standard is quantified by the intensity, duration, and any physical manifestations of the distress. A lack of productivity or depression documented by professional psychiatrists is typically required here, although acquaintances' testimony about a change in behavior could be persuasive.