Lori Drew Indicted in MySpace Suicide Case of Megan Meier

A surprising development in the tragedy of Megan Meier, the 13-year-old girl who committed suicide in a MySpace hoax. Lori Drew, the woman who pretended to be a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans, was indicted by a federal grand jury in California.

The Meier case has presented some difficult legal issues, as discussed here. Now, it appears that California prosecutors have decided to move the matter into the criminal system.

Drew was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on the girl. She could be looking at five years running concurrently.

Any conviction would raise serious appellate issues on the scope of such laws to cover this conduct. One concern would be the criminalization of conduct on the Internet and the danger of a chilling effect. People routinely assume different identities in chat rooms — part of the draw of these sites.

The prosecutors, for that reason, might be inclined to accept a plea with a small amount of jail time. It is certainly something that many defense lawyers would explore. This should prove a very interesting case. One question is likely to be why Missouri prosecutors — state and federal — indicated such inability to prosecute when prosecutors in California went ahead with a grand jury.
For the full story, click here

7 thoughts on “Lori Drew Indicted in MySpace Suicide Case of Megan Meier”

  1. I am concerned because I just saw an emotionally abusive comment posted on a teen’s YouTube video not only encouraging him to commit suicide, but also with the commenter saying he’d kill the teen and even blow up his house if he could. It appears the teen has not seen it yet, since his last log in was 3 days ago.

  2. Dave, simply pulling the plug on the Internet is not a satisfactory response in today’s environment, when in fact many schools make use of the online world to disseminate assignments, conduct research, and so forth. To cut Megan off from that would have been, at the very least, punitive toward her rather than protective of her. Could her mother have exercised more control over MySpace and other social networking access? Certainly. But does her failure to do so in any way EXCUSE what third parties like Ms. Drew are accused of having done: manipulating the medium in such a way as to to drive an impressionable adolescent to that emotional – and ultimate – brink?

    When children reach their teens, especially, even the best of parents cannot protect them from Every Single Thing. That does not mean that the parents/family bear the full brunt when others exploit a child’s inherent weaknesses. That is in my view what Lori Drew is accused of, and if she is proven to have done so then she should have the proverbial book thrown at her.


  4. Hurrah and Kudos to the LA Prosecutor that found a way to indict the Evil Lori Drew! For an adult to act in such an irresponsible manner is horrible… so we at what-a-world (http://www.what-a-world.com) are pleased that the Dastardly Evil Drew will face justice!

  5. I disagree, whole heartedly. Community service works on juveniles and sometimes adults, but when someone dies because of your actions community service is not enough. If they do give her a plea deal she should at least spend 3-5 years behind bars. CS doesn’t punish her and it doesn’t serve as any kind of justice. Its one thing when your peers rag on you and give you hell, its another for an ADULT to join in on malicious fun.

    Yes the girl’s mother should have been monitoring her activity online, but it was Drew, her daughter and the 19yr old did that really crossed the line. They KNEW she had issues and pushed over the edge. Fines and CS will not make up for that.

  6. I can’t believe that anyone would fault the girls mother for this terrible prank played on a child by an adult. I am so glad this woman was charged. For a long time I thought she would get away with murder, because that’s what this was, murder…plain and simple.

  7. What the mother did was a mean and cruel thing. But what about the responsibility of the girls mother. If she knew her daughter was disturbed, or not mentally competent, why let her alone, unattended on the internet? Not everywhere is safe for everybody. As a parent with a depressed child I would of pulled the plug on the internet. She needs diversions, and activities, not left alone in the cold internet enviorment. The mom should do some community service, pay some fines, but nothing more.

Comments are closed.