Myspace Suicide Case


#1 > World > Woman pleads not guilty in MySpace suicide case
A woman has pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles federal court to charges in an internet hoax blamed for a 13-year-old girl's suicide.

Lori Drew, 49, today pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers without authorisation to get information used to inflict emotional distress.

She is free on bond.

The proceeding lasted only a few minutes, and Drew and her lawyer declined to comment to reporters waiting outside the courtroom.

Drew, of suburban St Louis, Missouri, is accused of helping to create a MySpace account that appeared to belong to a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. The boy did not exist.

Drew's daughter had been a friend of 13-year-old neighbour Megan Meier and the fake account was used to send cruel messages to the girl, including one saying the world would be better off without her. Megan hanged herself in 2006.

Drew has denied creating the account or sending messages to Meier.

The charges were filed in California where MySpace is based.

MySpace is a subsidiary of Beverly Hills-based Fox Interactive Media Inc, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Drew's case was assigned to US District Court Judge George Wu and her trial scheduled for July 29.

A status conference was scheduled for June 26.

US Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said Drew would be allowed to return home pending trial.

Each of the four counts against Drew carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Drew's lawyer has said he will challenge the charges.

Experts have said the case could break new ground in internet law.

The statute used to indict Drew usually applies to internet hackers who illegally access accounts to get information.

US Attorney Thomas P O'Brien has acknowledged this is the first time the federal statute on accessing protected computers has been used in a social-networking case.

Rebecca Lonergan, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches law at the University of Southern California, has said use of statute, known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, may be open to challenge.

Lonergan said the crimes covered by the law involve obtaining information from a computer, not sending messages out to harass someone.

"Here it is the flow of information away from the computer," she said.

"It's a very creative, aggressive use of the statute. But they may have a legally tough time meeting the elements."

James Chadwick, a Palo Alto lawyer who specialises in internet and media law, said he had never seen the statute applied to the sending of messages.

He said it was probable that liability for the girl's death would not be an issue in the case.

"As tragic as it is," he said, "you can't start imposing liability on people for being cruel".

Missouri police didn't file any charges against Drew in part because there was no applicable state law.

In response to the case, Missouri legislators gave final approval to a bill making cyber harassment illegal.
This case raises some interesting questions about internet law.
I'm really not terribly sure how I feel about this case, can we really press charges on someone for being mean if a person kills them self because of it?

I mean a 49 year old woman should have been far more mature than to engage in this, if she is indeed guilty, but at the same time suicide over myspace harassment? Thats a bit of an extreme effect for some malicious emails, she could have just blocked that user. Seems the victim in this case overracted quite a bit.



Certified Shitlord
Using the internet to create emotional distress? Shouldn't most of us be in court then?

On the one hand, this is very unfortunate and a terrible situation. You have a suicide and a high profile website involved. I just hope this doesn't turn into one of those stories where crusty sexless mothers start protesting and parading the dangers of Myspace.



Registered Member
A supposedly ''mature'' woman bullying and belittling a child?
There has to be something seriously wrong with her.
A kid at that age especially is VERY vulnerable, especially if they are low on self esteem to begin with.
If that's the majority of the feedback the poor kid got then yes, she would have been taking it all in.

Even as adults, if we're fed spite as fact enough then yes, we believe it.


Registered Member
My Mother always said to other Mothers, they fall out and they'll fall back in.
We always did!

When parents interfere on trivial matters it only adds fuel to the flame.
Taking it upon themseves to seek revenge and cause hatred is beyond dispiccable.


Regardless if the mother in question here was involved or not, should she be brought up on charges? Should we be able to prosecute people for being mean over the internet?
Regardless if the mother in question here was involved or not, should she be brought up on charges? Should we be able to prosecute people for being mean over the internet?
Absolutely not and I will consider our society a complete and utter failure if that is allowed to be.


I personally agree, this woman did do something immature but its hardly her fault this girl took it to that extreme.

Also if this woman is declared guilty we need to throw Nancy Grace up on trial as well.


Registered Member
There's being mean and there's abuse/severe bullying.

If she specifically sought the girl out as it intimates she did then hell yeah!