Judge delays sentencing of woman in MySpace hoax case
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge yesterday delayed the sentencing of a Missouri woman for her role in a MySpace hoax directed at a 13-year-old neighbor who ended up committing suicide.
US District Judge George Wu, rescheduling Lori Drew's sentencing to July 2, said he wants to review testimony by prosecution witnesses. He did not rule on a defense motion to dismiss Drew's convictions on three misdemeanor counts of accessing computers without authorization.
Prosecutors say Drew sought to humiliate Megan Meier by helping to create a fictitious teen boy on the social networking site and sending flirtatious messages to the girl in his name. The fake boy then dumped Megan in a message saying the world would be better without her. She hanged herself a short time later in October 2006.
Prosecutors asked Wu to send Drew to prison for three years for violating the terms of service of the MySpace social networking site and to fine her as much as $300,000.
Her lawyer, Dean Steward, said in recent court documents that prosecutors were trying to save face after they didn't get the verdict they sought.
Drew was not directly charged with causing Megan's death. 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. She was found not guilty of the felony charge of intentionally causing emotional harm while accessing computers without authorization. The jury deadlocked on a felony conspiracy charge.