No criminal charges will be filed against the people who sent cruel messages to a 13-year old girl over the Internet, allegedly driving her to suicide St. Charles County prosecutors said today.
The parents of Megan Meier of Dardenne Prairie, who hanged herself last year, said her suicide came minutes after she received mean messages through the social networking site MySpace.
Jack Banas, St. Charles County prosecuting attorney, said at a Monday press conference that he reviewed state laws regarding harassment, stalking and child endangerment and concluded that the intent of those who created the fake MySpace account did not meet the criminal threshold.
In fact, Banas said, Lori J. Drew, 48, the woman down the street who was involved in creating the fake account for Josh Evans, was not home the day several mean messages were sent to Megan through the Josh account, including one that stated, The world would be a better place without you.
A police report said that a mother from the neighborhood and her 18-year-old employee fabricated a profile for a teenage boy online who pretended to be interested in Megan before he began bullying her.
The police report indicates others gained access to the profile, and it is not clear who was sending Meier messages just before her death.
After the case became public, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt asked lawmakers to review state law to see if changes were necessary to better deal with cases that involve Internet bullying. Some municipalities have also considered or passed statutes to strengthen laws that deal with Internet harassement.