Lori Drew, the alleged perpetrator behind a slate of nasty Myspace messages Megan Meier received from “Josh” that appear to have led to her suicide hours later, has been indicted by federal prosecutors in Missouri. We previously reported on the Megan Meier murder and noted last December how cowardly local prosecutors declined to prosecute Drew.
Drew was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of fraudulently gaining access to someone else’s computer. Lori Drew has denied creating the fake account or sending messages to Megan.
MySpace issued a statement saying it “does not tolerate cyberbullying” and was cooperating fully with the U.S. attorney.
U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien said this was the first time the federal statute on accessing protected computers has been used in a social-networking case. It has been used in the past to address hacking.
“This was a tragedy that did not have to happen,” O’Brien said at a Los Angeles press conference.
Both the girl and MySpace are named as victims in the case, he said.
The details of the indictment are telling:
Drew and her coconspirators “used the information obtained over the MySpace computer system to torment, harass, humiliate, and embarrass the juvenile MySpace member,” the indictment charged.
The indictment contends they committed or aided in a dozen “overt acts” that were illegal, including using a photograph of a boy that was posted without his knowledge or permission.
They used “Josh” to flirt with Megan, telling her she was “sexi,” the indictment charged.
Around Oct., 7, 2006, Megan was told “Josh” was moving away, prompting the girl to write: “aww sexi josh ur so sweet if u moved back u could see me up close and personal lol.”
Several days later, “Josh” urged the girl to call and added: “i love you so much.”
But on or about Oct. 16, “Josh” wrote to the girl and told her “in substance, that the world would be a better place without M.T.M. in it,” according to the indictment.
I reserve judgment on Drew’s guilt or innocence until it goes to trial. But I commend the federal prosecutors for stepping in to at least see justice have its day in court.
The fact the feds feel they have a strong enough case to indict is indicative, in my mind anyway, of the strength of their case.
Read the full story: Woman indicted in Missouri MySpace suicide case