Lori Drew has been indicted in the case of Megan Meier, a Missouri teen who committed suicide following a MySpace hoax. Read about the case, see photos, a video and the indictment below.
Lori Drew was indicted today on federal fraud and conspiracy charges for her role in an internet hoax that allegedly contributed to the suicide of a Missouri teenager in 2006.
You might remember the case of Megan Meier. She was the 13-year-old Missouri teenager who hung herself in her closet on the evening of October 16, 2006. Following her suicide, it was discovered that she had been subjected to a cruel hoax on the internet after she’d had an argument with one of her friends. It was discovered that the mother of that friend had created a fictitious account on MySpace and created the persona of a handsome boy who liked Megan. She allegedly did this to find out what Megan was saying about her daughter online and to ‘teach Megan a lesson’. She then had the persona she had created, Josh Evans, break up with Megan and start calling her names. This triggered a torrent of abusive messages to Megan.
The messages that Megan was receiving on her MySpace account the night of her death included calling her a ‘whore’ and a ‘fat ass’ among other things. The last message she got was from the ‘Josh’ persona that read:
“the world would be a better place without you, and have a s**t rest of your life.”
Lori Drew has said that she was aware of the hoax but did not realize how cruel it was and was not involved in it. She has pointed her finger at her daughter (Megan’s former friend) and a teenage employee named Ashley Grills. Grills, who is now 19-years-old, has admitted to setting up the fake ‘Josh Evans’ MySpace account but says Lori Drew and her daughter participated in the hoax. Grills admits to writing the last message from ‘Josh’ to Megan about the world being better off without her. She claims she felt the ruse had gone too far and she was trying to just get Megan so mad she’d refuse to communicate with them anymore.
According to the indictment, Lori Drew deleted the MySpace page as soon as she heard about Megan’s suicide. She also told ‘a minor’ (supposedly her daughter) to ‘keep her mouth shut’. Investigators were able to trace the account back to the computers of Grills and Drew. Missouri didn’t bring charges against Drew because they weren’t able to find a law she had broken. The federal indictment alleges she defrauded MySpace by setting up the bogus profile. Its the first time the law has been used for an internet crime other than hacking.
The indictment came out of a Los Angeles Federal Court. After Drew is arraigned in St. Louis she’ll be moved to Los Angeles for trial.
UPDATE 6.16.2008: Lori Drew has pleaded ‘innocent’ to the charges of conspiracy to inflict emotional distress and accessing MySpace computers without authorization. The case is known as the MySpace Suicide. Her trial will start on July 29th. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Lori Drew – Video