Judge: No Space in Prison for MySpace Villain, Dismisses Case Against Lori Drew

A grainy, MySpace-worthy photo of Lori Drew - http://mylifeofcrime.files.wordpress.com
A grainy, MySpace-worthy photo of Lori Drew
A federal judge in Los Angeles says he will dismiss the case against Lori Drew, the St. Charles County woman convicted of three misdemeanors last November for breaking MySpace's "Terms of Use Policy."

Drew helped create a fake MySpace profile that she allegedly used to cyber-bully Dardenne Prairie teen Megan Meier, supposedly to the point that Meier killed herself. (Prosecutors failed last November to get the jury to convict Drew of a felony conspiracy charge that could have carried a 20-year prison sentence.)

The Los Angeles Times reports that U.S. District Judge George H. Wu said he was concerned that if Drew was found guilty of violating MySpace's terms of service, anyone who violated the terms could be convicted of a crime.

Drew was originally slated for sentencing in May, but that date got pushed back when Wu agreed to consider the defense's request to dismiss the case. Prosecutors had wanted Drew sentenced to three years in prison for the misdemeanor convictions.

Per the L.A. Times:

At the May hearing, Wu grilled Assistant U.S. Atty. Mark Krause at length about whether the government had prosecuted Drew under the appropriate laws when they asserted that violating MySpace's terms of service amounted to a crime.

"Is a misdemeanor committed by the conduct which is done every single day by millions and millions of people?" Wu asked. "If these people do read [the terms of service] and still say they're 40 when they are 45, is that a misdemeanor?"

Krause argued that Drew's acts were criminal because she signed up for the fake account with the intention of harming Megan by humiliating her. Drew knew her acts were illegal and deleted the account shortly after Megan's death to cover up her crime, he contended.

Prosecutors had asked Wu to impose a sentence of three years. Defense attorneys argued for probation and vehemently criticized the prosecution in court filings, calling its argument "utterly absurd."

Wu's dismissal of the case is "tentative" for now, though he says he plans to put it in writing -- making it official -- next week.

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