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Megan Meier

Lori Drew with daughter Sarah
Judge's decision to avoid setting precedent may result in justice being averted

A Missouri woman who was convicted of three misdemeanors for her role in an online harassment of a teenager who committed suicide has been provisionally acquitted.

Lori Drew conspired with her daughter Sarah Drew and Ashley Grills to gather information about thirteen year old Megan Meier and humiliate her. This was done in retribution for Meier allegedly spreading gossip and rumors about Drew's daughter.

The three created the fictional MySpace persona of "Josh Evans" and befriended Meier. Eventually the Evans persona turned hostile, with the final message sent to Meier reading: "Everybody in O'Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you."

Meier responded with a message reading “You’re the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over.”  She was found hanging by her neck twenty minutes after her last message was sent.

Federal District Judge George Wu provisionally threw out the convictions because Drew's conviction on illegal access hinged on the fact that she violated MySpace's Terms of Service by creating a false account. Creating a false account is not a criminal offence, and Judge Wu did not want to create a precedent that could be used to convict millions of other Internet users.

"This is conduct done every day by millions and millions of people," Judge Wu rationalized.

Lori Drew was not directly charged with causing Megan's death, but was instead indicted under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The case has been a rallying cry for anti-online harassment legislation. Assemblyman Ted Lieu introduced Assembly Bill 86 in the California legislature in August 2008, and Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez introduced H.R. 6123 as the "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act" to amend Title 18 of the United States Code on May 22 2008.

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RE: Induction to suicide
By tviceman on 7/3/2009 9:05:52 AM , Rating: 5
A mom telling a teenage girl that the world would be better off without her is pretty F'd up, but come one. You're saying you don't feel safe because she might give you bad advice on what to do with your life?

Well I think we should all kill ourselves. Am I guilty of manslaughter now too if someone commits suicide today?

RE: Induction to suicide
By tviceman on 7/3/2009 9:06:30 AM , Rating: 2
Should be "come on". Where's my edit button!?

RE: Induction to suicide
By shortylickens on 7/5/2009 1:38:46 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. This situation is bad and the mom was seriously wrong, but I dont like the idea of a nanny state pressing murder or manslaughter charges just because people are mean. Life is hard, and this isnt even close to the hardest thing we have seen. Teenage girls are emotional, unstable and sensitive. Thats why parents need to keep a close eye on them and be involved in their lives. THATS what could have prevented this tragedy.
I do think the mother should have been found guilty of harassment though. Thats a serious offense.

RE: Induction to suicide
By bhieb on 7/6/2009 10:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
Teenage girls are emotional, unstable and sensitive.

Where's your edit button... should read

Girls are emotional, unstable and sensitive.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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