LOS ANGELES — A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted a Missouri woman for her alleged role in perpetrating a hoax on the online social network MySpace against a 13-year-old neighbor girl who then committed suicide.
Lori Drew of suburban St. Louis was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on the girl.
Drew allegedly helped create a MySpace account on false premises to contact Megan Meier, who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans, who turned out not to exist.
Megan hanged herself at home in October 2006 after receiving cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her.
Drew has denied creating the account or sending messages to Megan.
MySpace is based in Beverly Hills. The indictment noted that MySpace computer servers are located in Los Angeles County.
Due to juvenile privacy rules, the U.S. attorney’s office said, the indictment refers to the girl as M.T.M.
Each count in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.