Federal prosecutors have charged a Missouri woman with creating a fraudulent MySpace account and using it to "cyber bully" a 13-year-old Missouri girl who committed suicide, in a case that drew national attention.
Using a criminal statute most often used to go after computer hackers, prosecutors charged Lori Drew, the mother of a former friend of Megan Meier, who hanged herself.
Drew, 49, of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., allegedly claimed to be a boy who befriended Meier online and then turned on her.
The case was filed in Los Angeles because Drew is accused of providing fraudulent information to MySpace, which is based in Beverly Hills. It accuses Drew of one count of conspiracy and three counts of illegally using MySpace computers to inflict emotional distress on a child.
Drew allegedly created an account in the name of an imaginary boy, Josh Evans, used it to get information about Meier, and then used the information to inflict emotional distress on the girl.
U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien said it was the first such use of the statute in the nation.
Megan Meier hung herself in the small, wealthy town of 7,400 in October 2006, allegedly about an hour after receiving a message from the fictional boy stating, "The world would be better without you."
Previously, the fictional boy had sent Meier messages such as, "I love you so much," the complaint states.