Report: Mom in MySpace hoax found guilty on lesser charges

A court finds Lori Drew, accused of using MySpace to harass one of her daughter's classmates to the point of suicide, guilty--but not on counts as severe as the ones she was up for.

Lori Drew, the Missouri woman who created a fake MySpace profile that she allegedly used to harass a teenage girl to the point of suicide , was convicted of three offenses far more minor than the ones she could have been, the Associated Press wrote Wednesday.

Drew, indicted in May by a federal court after Missouri prosecutors could not find evidence of a state crime, had been charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of "accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress."

On Wednesday, a federal jury in Los Angeles failed to reach a verdict on the conspiracy charge. In addition, Meier was not convicted of the three felony charges of accessing protected computers, but was instead found guilty of three related misdemeanors.

Drew had faced up to 20 years in prison, but now faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for each of the three misdemeanors.

According to the AP, U.S. District Court Judge George Wu declared a mistrial on the conspiracy charge, but it is not yet clear whether Drew will be retried on it.

The harassed teen, 13-year-old Megan Meier, committed suicide in 2006. She was a classmate of Drew's daughter Sarah.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation spoke out in opposition to the charges against Drew in August, saying that millions of Americans could be considered criminals in accordance with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act because of the charges' basis in a terms of service violation.

 

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