Prosecutors said Lori Drew, 49, used the social networking site MySpace in 2006 to create a fictitious online profile of a young man who flirted with 13-year-old Megan Meier. Ms. Meier killed herself after the fake boy said the world would be better off without her. Prosecutors suggested that Ms. Drew – along with her daughter and a coworker – created the profile to see if Meier was backstabbing her daughter.
Although prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentence of three years in jail and a $300,000 fine, a Los Angeles jury decided in November 2009 that Drew was guilty of only three misdemeanors for accessing computers without authorization.
Drew was eventually acquitted of all charges in July 2009. US District Judge George Wu said convicting Drew would have set too dangerous a precedent. If she was found guilty of this, the judge said, an Internet user who didn’t follow the terms of agreement of a website could suddenly face criminal charges.