Woman charged in MySpace 'cyber-bully' case

Lori Drew, whose alleged cyber-bullying was blamed in the suicide of a 13-year-old neighbor, faces criminal charges

A US woman whose online taunting was blamed in the 2006 suicide of her 13-year-old neighbor now faces criminal charges.

A grand jury on Thursday handed up an indictment charging Lori Drew, 49, of Missouri, with one count of conspiracy and three counts of unauthorized computer access. A federal grand jury in California heard the case because that is where MySpace, the Web site where the taunting occurred, is located.

Drew, her teenage daughter and a third woman, Ashley Grills, who worked for the Drew family, reportedly created a MySpace.com profile under the fictional name Josh Evans in order to taunt Megan Meier, who had been a friend of Drew's daughter and lived on the same block.

"After approximately four weeks of flirtatious communications between Josh Evans and [Meier], Drew and her co-conspirators broke off the relationship," the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California said in a statement. "Within an hour [Meier] hanged herself in her room. She died the next day."

Drew was vilified after the incident, which drew international attention. In a February 2008 interview she claimed to have been barraged with threatening calls after the story broke, and her address and phone number were posted online.

The case focused attention on the issue of cyber-bullying and on the failure of school anti-harassment laws in the U.S. to address this kind of behavior on the Internet.

Cyber-bullying is illegal in about 10 US states, and a handful of others are now considering extending their laws to address the issue.

After county officials in Missouri investigated the incident in late 2007, they decided that the Drews and Grills had not engaged in criminal behavior and had set up the account only to monitor what Meier was saying about her former friend.

In contrast, the Thursday grand jury charges allege that Drew and the others used Josh to "torment, harass, humiliate and embarrass" Meier.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?