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Woman acquitted of felonies in MySpace suicide case

Los Angeles, November 27: The Missouri woman, Lori Drew, who created a false account on internet and sent nasty messages to a thirteen year old girl, Megan Meier, causing her to commit suicide, was acquitted from the three felonies by the federal jury on Wednesday.

Jury of United States District Court could not reach a conclusion in the most serious charge i.e. conspiracy against Drew. The court has cleared her of other three charges of accessing a computer without any authorization to harass Megan Meier, a thirteen year old girl and causing her to commit suicide.

She was found guilty of three lesser offences of misdemeanor convictions though. For each count there is punishment of up to one year’s imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.

Juror Shirley Hanley said that the jury had cleared Drew of the three charges because it was not clear who had written that last message due to which the girl committed suicide.

The prosecutors said that Ms Drew had violated the rules of Myspace.com by using MySpace account to "harass, abuse or harm other members".

Lori Drew, 49, is the mother of the victim Megan’s friend Sarah living in her neighborhood. Drew had opened an account on My Space, a social networking website, in 2006 with the name of Josh Evans and posed as a boy. Then Drew, posing as Josh, started chatting with Megan. After some time, she started sending some nasty messages to Megan. The last message she sent was “the world would be a better place” without her. Megan thought that Josh had rejected her and she responded, “You’re the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over.”After that Megan committed suicide by hanging herself in her home.

Ms. Drew’s lawyer, Dean Steward said that Drew was not at home when the last message was sent to Megan. She had never read the terms and conditions of My space.

Steward said, “I don't have any satisfaction in the jury's decision, I don't think these charges should have ever been brought."

After the verdict, Tina Meier, Megan's mother, said, "This is about justice, it’s justice not only for Megan but it's justice for everybody who has had to go through this with the computer and being harassed."

Chief Security Officer of My Space, Hemanshu Nigam, said, “MySpace respects the jury's decision and will continue to work with industry experts to raise awareness of cyber-bullying and the harm it can potentially cause.”