The 'MySpace Mom' Lori Drew who is accused of cyber-bullying 13-year-old Megan Meier to committing suicide faces 20 years in prison.
The 'MySpace Mom' Lori Drew, 49, that was accused of what is being called now 'cyber-bullying' which led to a 13-year-old girl committing suicide, was indicted Thursday by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers without authorization to get information used to inflict emotional distress.
The MySpace suicide case stems from a 2006 incident where Megan Meier was being deceived over MySpace allegedly by Lori Drew, a neighboring Missouri mother, along with the help of the mother's 18-year-old employee and 13-year-old daughter. They were accused of creating a fake profile of an attractive teenage boy to determine what Megan was saying about the daughter online. Megan, 13, later hung herself after the deceit.
According to police reports, Ms. Drew created the fake MySpace account under the name Josh Evans and prosecutors said she used the social networking account to contact Megan Meier, a former friend of Ms. Drew's daughter who was then named in reports of the indictment as M.T.M.
Ms. Drew began sending sexually charged messages from "Josh" to Megan and later, after a few weeks of chatting, "Josh" began to send Megan nasty messages ending with one message suggesting that "the world would be a better place" without her. This has led many to believe that this is what led Megan, after believing she had been rejected by "Josh," to later commit suicide in her home in 2006.
Lori Drew faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison per count of her charges with one being a count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing a computer without authorization and via interstate commerce to obtain information to inflict emotional distress. Therefore the Missouri mom faces 20 years in prison for the 'cyber-bulling' crimes which allegedly led to little Megan's suicide.
Now in response to the suicide of the Missouri teenager, Missouri state lawmakers Friday approved a bill making cyber-harassment illegal.
Republican Gov. Matt Blunt issued this statement praising lawmakers:[blockquote][I]"Social networking sites and technology have opened a new door for criminals and bullies to prey on their victims. These protections ensure that our laws now have the protections and penalties needed to safeguard Missourians from Internet harassment."[/I][/blockquote]
MySpace as well has issued a written statement saying, "MySpace does not tolerate cyberbullying and is cooperating fully with the U.S. attorney in this matter."
Ms. Drew is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles in June.