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[CNN] Mom indicted in deadly MySpace hoax

post #1 of 88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNN
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A Missouri mom was indicted Thursday for her alleged role in the death of a teen who killed herself over a failed Internet romance that turned out to be a hoax.
art.mom.jpg

Tina Meier has said her daughter was devastated when "Josh Evans" rejected her.

A federal indictment accuses Lori Drew, 49, of O'Fallon, Missouri, of using the social networking Web site MySpace.com to pose as a 16-year-old boy and feign romantic interest in the girl.

The girl, Megan Meier, committed suicide after her online love interest spurned her, according to prosecutors, telling her the world would be a better place without her.

Drew faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers to obtain information to inflict emotional distress.

The indictment, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Drew and others of registering on MySpace as "Josh Evans" and using the account to lure Meier into an an online romance.

Authorities have previously said that Drew set up the account to find out what Meier, who lived in her neighborhood, was saying about her daughter.

Prosecutors allege that Drew and the others violated MySpace's terms of service by using false information to create the account so they could "harass, abuse or harm" Meier, according to the indictment.

The two corresponded for about four weeks before "Josh" broke off the relationship, authorities said. Within an hour, Meier hanged herself in her room and died the next day.
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* Read the indictment (PDF)

The indictment does not allege that Drew sent the final message telling Meier the world would be a better place without her. Instead, it blames her unnamed co-conspirators, who authorities have previously said include a teenage girl.

After Drew learned of the teen's suicide, the indictment alleges, she directed one of the teens involved to "keep her mouth shut" and deleted the account.

Meier's mother, Tina Meier, told CNN in November that her daughter had self-esteem issues and had struggled with depression since childhood.

She said when her daughter began receiving messages from "Josh" telling her she was pretty, she was thrilled.

When "Josh" broke off the relationship, Tina Meier said, her daughter was devastated.

"She was looking for me to help calm herself down like I always did and be there for her. And I was upset because I didn't like the language she was using, and I was angry she didn't sign off when I told her to," Tina Meier told CNN. Video Watch Tina Meier's reaction to the charges »

"She said to me, 'You're supposed to be my mom, you're supposed to be on my side,' and then took off running upstairs," Tina Meier said.

Tina Meier found her daughter hanging by a belt shortly afterward.

"It's as if my daughter killed herself with a gun," Meier's father, Ron, told CNN. "And it's as if they loaded the gun for her."

Drew is scheduled for arraignment in June.

"This adult woman allegedly used the Internet to target a young teenage girl, with horrendous ramifications," U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien said in a written statement.

"Any adult who uses the Internet or a social gathering Web site to bully or harass another person, particularly a young teenage girl, needs to realize that their actions can have serious consequences," O'Brien said.
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In December, Missouri prosecutors declined to file charges against Drew, saying there was no law under which she could be charged.

"There is no way that anybody could know that talking to someone or saying that you're mean to your friends on the Internet would create a substantial risk," St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas said. "Under the law, we just couldn't show that."
Mom of the year award right there people. The sad thing is that her mother was trying to protector as it seems. Too bad she got opposite results. But then again, if a person falls in "love" with someone over the internet within four weeks and has never known them personally(which the internet can be very dangerous for), then that person probably wasn't completely sane to begin with.
Edited by gex80 - 5/16/08 at 5:56am
    
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post #2 of 88
Blame violent video games. I'm sure there was atleast one in the house.
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post #3 of 88
...you've GOT to be kidding me? I'm as liberal as liberal gets... but when you KILL YOURSELF there's no one to blame but you. (EXTREME cases aside... no this isn't extreme)
Edited by Ihatethedukes - 5/16/08 at 5:57am
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post #4 of 88
Sad... it's pathetic that someone would KILL themselves over Myspace! Survival of the fittest I guess!
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post #5 of 88
Wow you have to be kidding.
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post #6 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ihatethedukes View Post
...you've GOT to be kidding me? I'm as liberal as liberal gets... but when you KILL YOURSELF there's no one to blame but you. (EXTREME cases aside... no this isn't extreme)
You have to realize that people with depression will often reach out to someone to hold them up, and when that support suddenly vanishes or rejects you, it's hard to find something to grab hold of before you fall.
post #7 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ihatethedukes View Post
...you've GOT to be kidding me? I'm as liberal as liberal gets... but when you KILL YOURSELF there's no one to blame but you. (EXTREME cases aside... no this isn't extreme)
Some people have conditions where they are not able to think straight.. Its easy to say that because you are "normal". But most people that do this suffer from depression and cannot think straight when they do something like this.

She should be charged with 2nd or 3rd degree murder IMHO. She purposely did this knowing she would affect the girls emotions negatively, and when someone suffers from depression a breakup can cause very negative thoughts.
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post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlocke View Post
Some people have conditions where they are not able to think straight.. Its easy to say that because you are "normal". But most people that do this suffer from depression and cannot think straight when they do something like this.

She should be charged 2nd or 3rd degree murder IMHO. She purposely did this knowing she would affect the girls emotions negatively, and when someone suffers from depression a breakup can cause very negative thoughts.
You assume they were fully aware of the effects such actions would have on her, and fully aware of her condition. Kids and teenagers can be evil, but they often don't know what they are doing. Unless it can be proven that they did, they shouldn't be charged with something so severe - if charged with anything at all. The parent involved, however, I could see getting charged with severer penalties, but again only if it can be proven that she was fully aware of the consequences her actions would have.

This is the parents looking for someone to blame because they wish they could have done something different in hindsight and don't want to blame themselves. Should the kids get into trouble? Sure, but don't go overboard with the felony murder charges (the adult withstanding)... Karma will come around eventually. It always does.
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post #9 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporalAris View Post
You have to realize that people with depression will often reach out to someone to hold them up, and when that support suddenly vanishes or rejects you, it's hard to find something to grab hold of before you fall.
Yea, true, but you can't blame the supporter for the actions of the depressed. Maybe I could understand negligence if it were a doctor who had been treating a depressed patient and didn't diagnose the symptoms until it was too late, but to be the sole motivation for someone's suicide by merely chatting online with them? C'mon!
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post #10 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargate125645 View Post
Sorry to be "that guy," but this isn't news.
And what qualifies as news exactly? It does fit the software category if I'm not mistaken, and it is on a news site. So whats the problem?
    
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