Defense Lawyer Files To Dismiss MySpace Case

  • July 24, 2008
The case against a Missouri woman accused of creating a fake MySpace page to harass a 13-year-old girl should be tossed out of court because if she is guilty, then so are millions of Internet users every day, her attorney wrote in court documents filed Wednesday, according to a report in The Washington Post. The papers show that Lori Drew, who was the focus of national outrage after 13-year-old Megan Meier committed suicide, will seize on a weakness in the prosecution case that has been noted by several legal experts since her May indictment: While her alleged behavior may have been wrong, there is no specific legal sanction against it. In charging Drew, prosecutors relied on their belief that she, like countless others on social networks such as MySpace, created a fake identity.

Because the false profile violated MySpace policy, prosecutors charged Drew with four counts based on her accessing a computer system "without authorization." In doing so, they relied on a statute commonly wielded against hackers and information thieves. Drew was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing a computer without authorization and via interstate commerce to obtain information to inflict emotional distress. Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. --Tanya Irwin

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