Felony charge against cyber-bully dropped

Jan. 1, 2009 at 1:35 PM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- A Missouri woman convicted of cyber-bullying a teenage girl will not face a felony conspiracy charge, court records show.

A U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has dropped the felony charge against Lori Drew, more than a month after the 49-year-old woman was convicted of harassing 13-year-old Megan Meier with Internet messages, the St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch said Thursday.

The removal of the charge comes after a federal jury was unable to reach a verdict on the felony charge. That same jury convicted Drew on Nov. 26 on three counts of accessing a computer without authorization, all misdemeanors.

The Post-Dispatch said federal guidelines could result in Drew receiving probation on the conviction, which holds a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $300,000 fine.

Meier committed suicide in October 2006 in Dardenne Prairie, Mo. Prosecutors in Drew's case had alleged the suicide came about as the result of several hurtful messages Drew sent the teen through a MySpace account.

Drew's teenage daughter, Sarah, and Ashley Grills, an 18-year-old employee of Drew's, were also alleged to have taken part in the cyber-bullying.

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