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Cyberbullying case goes to jury

Nov. 25, 2008 at 9:40 AM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- The fate of a 49-year-old Missouri woman accused of "cyberbullying" a 13-year-old girl into killing herself was set to go to a California jury, officials say.

U.S. District Judge George Wu ordered the jury in the case of Lori Drew to begin deliberations Tuesday after testimony wrapped up with Drew's daughter Sarah defending her mother and blaming the alleged cyberbullying on an 18-year-old Drew associate, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Prosecutors have charged Drew, of O'Fallon, Mo., with conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization in an alleged MySpace.com scheme to inflict emotional pain and suffering on 13-year-old Megan Meier. They say Drew created a false 16-year-old male persona in an attempt to woo Meier and extract information from her to determine if she had been spreading gossip about her daughter.

The plan, however, turned into a bid to inflict pain on the girl by having the imaginary boy dump her -- a ploy that resulted in Meier's suicide, prosecutors say.

Drew's attorney, however, told the jury that the charges rest on Drew's having intentionally broken MySpace's terms of usage, which prosecutors haven't proven, the Post-Dispatch reported.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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