Lori Drew, the meddling mom who posed as a 13-year-old boy and cyber-bullied Megan Meier on MySpace until the girl committed suicide, has been indicted on federal charges.
Previously, prosecutors in Missouri — where Drew and Meiers both lived — had declined to press charges calling Drew’s actions because the state’s harassment law did not extend to the internet.
The indictment was filed in Los Angeles, where MySpace is located. The charges against Lori Drew are based on laws against computer hacking and is the first of its kind.
“We are in uncharted waters here,” University of Southern California law professor and former federal prosecutor Rebecca Lonergan told Reuters. “This case is unprecedented and it’s also a very aggressive charging decision.”
Lonergan said Drew was charged with accessing a protected computer to obtain information, a statute typically used against defendants who hack into government computers.
But the crime alleged doesn’t involve taunting Megan Meiers until she killed herself. Rather, it was Drew’s actions afterwards which may lead to her conviction.
Following Megan’s death, Drew had told law enforcement officers that she hadn’t created the account which had been used to torment Megan. Investigation revealed that the page had been created by a girl employed by Drew, but once the investigation commenced Drew accessed and deleted it herself. She then instructed the girl to “keep her mouth shut.”
If convicted, Drew could face 20 years in federal prison.