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Mother convicted in Internet hoax case scheduled for sentencing today

A Missouri mother convicted of committing a hoax on the social networking site MySpace that led to the suicide of a 13-year-old girl is scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.

A jury convicted Lori Drew, 50, of three misdemeanor computer crimes last November, but deadlocked on a felony conspiracy charge that carried a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The mixed verdict was a blow to prosecutors in Los Angeles who indicted Drew on controversial legal grounds after prosecutors in Missouri declined to file criminal charges.

Drew became the object of widespread public criticism after the death of eighth-grader Megan Meier, a friend of Drew’s daughter.

Drew, her daughter, and an 18-year-old employee who worked for Drew used a fake profile of a teenage boy to flirt and communicate with Megan on-line via Beverly Hills-based MySpace. Megan hung herself with a belt after the fictitious boy sent her a message telling her “the world would be a better place without you.”

In court papers this month, prosecutors asked U.S. District judge George H. Wu to impose a sentence of three years, one year for each of the misdemeanor convictions.

They wrote that Drew deserved a harsher sentence than the probation office’s recommendation of probation because she knew of Megan’s history of depression and mental problems, attempted to cover up her crimes, and used minors in the crime.

Defense attorneys for Drew vehemently criticized the prosecution in court filings, calling the prosecution’s argument in seeking a three-year prison term “shocking” and “utterly absurd.”

Drew’s misdemeanor convictions for the violation of MySpace’s “terms of service” is a “novel theory that renders millions Americans felons for their everyday conduct,” attorney Dean Steward wrote.

“The government has created a fiction that Lori Drew somehow caused [Megan]’s death, and it wants a long prison sentence to make its fiction seem real,” Steward wrote. “Fortunately, this is a court of law, not a television drama.”

-- Victoria Kim

Comments () | Archives (19)

I hope she gets three years tho I think it should be more. How dare this woman mess with a 13 year old's mind like that. Is that what she taught her daughter? Ms. Drew has a far sicker mind than Megan. You know kids fight but they get over it unless parents get involved. Megan didn't hurt Lori Drew's daughter physically, she wasn't sending her threatening letters or anything like that. It was alleged that Megan was talking about Lori Drews daughter so instead of the girls working it out Ms. Drew got involved and now there is a dead 13 year old girl. Shame on you Lori Drew how would you have felt if your daughter had been victimized by someone just like you?


Lori Drew should be treated like a sex offender. She knowingly used the internet (a tool) to harm a child. I wish she would be sentenced for murder! She is a sick woman. Adults should protect all children, not try to hurt them. I pray the judge locks her up. Maybe they should throw away the key.

The simple fact that this woman used a myspace profile to find out if a girl was spreading rumors about her daughter is alone pathetic. I thought when you got to the age she was at you taught your kids to not even care cause if they are not true then your real friends will believe you and peopel who really know who you are will believe you. Dont pull out this i was protecting my daughter bull i honestly think though that megans suicide was partially her own fault and her parents who didnt take any action to find out who the real boy was. In the end Lori Drew had no right to use myspace as a spying tool and you would think that an adult in todays society would be a little more mature and go to megans parents and tell them the issues that megan and Lori Drew's daughter were having. I hope she gets the maximum penalty.

Yes, the woman is a jerk, but the last time I checked, that's not a crime. If it was, we'd all serve in prison at some point in our lives. The novel idea that suicide is "caused" by someone means EVERY suicide is a potential murder conviction waiting to happen.

Absurd. Good for the jury.

Well, lets look at what happened. A mother plays the role of a boy on the internet and lures Megan into a game she's playing. She leads Megan on like there is an attraction and then out of the blue says, "The world would be a better place without you" and Megan is crushed by these words and commits suicide. It would be one thing if this was a peer of Megan's but it was a woman that was in reality an adult. Why would this woman not deserve prison? I'd say she was much more than a jerk. Like a predator, she lured Megan into a game and as a result Meghan is dead. She deserves the max in my opinion.

There is no excuse for lori drew. Yet we have all met people like her and have pitied them. I believe that she is guillty of pushing a young girl over the edge.

She's not just a jerk -- she is criminally negligent. No responsible adult would purposefully go after a teenage girl as she did. And, it is wrong to say that parents should be able to bullet-proof their children and prepare them to stand up to such abuse. Anyone who thinks that is out of touch with reality. Many teens are very fragile, and some never develop that kind of armor. No, her actions are not benign. They are of the utmost contempt for civility, self-control, and responsible action.

Regardless of the skill of her defense attorney's, the legal reasoning applied to mitigate the offense, the fact that she is a mother (an immature one at that) who willingly and knowingly contributed to the death to an already mentally unstable child in one of the toughest periods of life will be her punishment to bear for the rest of her life.

this woman deserves at least one year in jail.she fascilitated the death if a teenage girl and should have to be held accountable for her actions. we try to teach our children that being a bully is wrong and for a mother to go out of her way to hurt a child is appalling.

I like Allparents' comparison to a sex offender. This is how misguided our priorities have become as a society. If Lori Drew had used the Internet to lure the young girl into a sexual relationship, she would be lucky if she ever got out of jail for such a horrible crime. But since Lori Drew merely caused the young girl's death, probation seems to be the likely punishment...

Kind of like those knuckle-dragger states where they want to make child molestation a capital offense.

Lori Drew is not convicted of being a jerk, or goading a girl into commiting suicide. She's convicted of hacking by way of ignoring myspace.com's terms of use. As such, myspace.com is the vicitim in this case, not the little girl everyone is talking about. The suicide has no bearing whatsoever on the act Drew was convicted of - violating the terms of use. This was a creative way for the USDA to charge Drew with a crime, but it sets dangerous precidents. Not only does it mean that any of the millions of Americans who routinely ignore websites TOS may be prosecuted, but that the Feds may select whom they wish to target and find a law they feel may stick. Ask Tommy Chong what he thinks of the Lori Drew case.

NEWSFLASH: She didn't do anything wrong. the only person at fault is the teen who killed herself. she could have reached out to her parents, friends, counselors,etc but no - she took the easy way out by suicide. Did Lori Kill her? NOPE. this is just as bad as people who blame violent video games/music (with violent lyrics) as the reason for school shoots, etc. GET REAL

What a pathetic excuse for a grown woman. You would think as a female she would by sympathetic to a fragile young woman. This case - among so many others where messed-up adults hurt kids - makes me want to puke.

As soon as she wrote: "the world would be a better place without you," she was guilty of a horrible crime. Any adult who would say that to any child is a monster. The fact that she did it under false pretenses show malicious forethought and intent. She deserves the maximum punishment allowed, and misdemeanor is entirely too mild.

The problem with this mother is that only jail time will drive home the enormity of what she has done. Take away her "idea" of faking a website to glean the intimate thoughts of a neighbor's preteen child and then discard her when she is done playing with her and that child would be alive today. Adults are responsible for protecting chidren and locking up this narcissist will serve as fair warning to other creepy adults to keep their warped thoughts from harming children or pay the consequences.

This is a serious crime....A mother who uses the internet to bully a child? To me? Its murder..........As a mother this woman should be locked up for years to come....She should be the poster mother for those that even think about playing with the internet for criminal reasons.......Lawyers this and that.....Good luck...I will be happy if she is slammed and sent to Prison...Thats all...

If a suicidal person is standing on the edge of a cliff and is considering the jump, and another person approaches and gives a push (either physical or psychological), are they guilty of murder? I believe this person is guilty as she gave that "push", additionally, she pursued her to the edge of that cliff making her actions even more accountable.

A depressed young girl found a male friend who probably took her mind off her problems and made her feel better. She may have even begun to rely on this boy for comfort. And maybe that was the bright spot of everyday, maybe3 she started to feel better about herself and whatever she was going through mentally. Then one day the boy tells her that the world would be a better place without her. Try to put yourself in those shoes, feel that pain. A woman, a mother, knew of this girls problems and wrote that message to her. Its irresponsible for any adult to say those things to young kids and even more condemning when you know of the girls problems. All of these comments are right and the real crime is not even on trial here. To see this woman's actions and see her not take responsibility for them is too disturbung for me to forget. Add on top of that scum of the earth lawyers who use the court of law to their advantage. They find loopholes and their is no real justice. How would you feel if that was your child you disgusting woman? So i don't think you can blame her parents if they wished that Lori Drew would disappear permanently. This world would be a better place without her and her lawyers.

NEWSFLASH "THE TRUTH" she was seeking help for her suicide problems and she wanted them to stop. And technically it is murder. Lori Drew "pushed" her to where no one could save her.


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