She hanged herself a short time later in October 2006 in the St. Louis suburb of Dardenne Prairie, Mo.
Drew was not directly charged with causing Megan’s death, because there were no federal or state statutes regarding cyber bullying at the time. Instead, prosecutors indicted her under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which in the past has been used in hacking and trademark theft cases.
Wu acknowledged in May he was concerned that sending Drew to prison for violating a web site’s service terms might set a dangerous precedent. Wu noted at the time that millions of people don’t read service terms, as happened in Drew’s case.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Drew violated MySpace service rules by setting up the phony profile for a boy named “Josh Evans” with the help of her then-13-year-old daughter Sarah and business assistant Ashley Grills. They posted a photo of a bare-chested boy with tousled brown hair.
“Josh” then told Megan she was “sexi” and assured her, “i love you so much.”
Prosecutors believe Drew and her daughter, who was friends with Megan, created the profile to find out if Megan was spreading rumors about Sarah. Grills testified she received a message from Megan in mid-2006, calling Drew’s daughter a lesbian.
Grills, who testified under a promise of immunity, allegedly sent the final, insulting message to Megan before she killed herself. Prosecutors said Megan sent a response saying, “You are the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over.”
Jurors decided Drew was not guilty of the more serious felonies of intentionally causing emotional harm while accessing computers without authorization. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on a felony conspiracy charge.
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