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Fed Judge Dismisses MySpace Conviction of Missouri Mom in Teen Suicide Case

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The judge decided the conviction could not stand. Yes, what she did was profoundly stupid and inexcusable, but criminal?  The Justice Department thought so. But apparently the judge did not.  The law for the Internet remains unclear after all this time.

By Alexendra Zavis
Los Angles Times
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge tentatively decided today to dismiss the case against a Missouri woman who had been convicted of computer fraud stemming from an Internet hoax that prompted a teenage girl to commit suicide.

Lori Drew of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., was convicted in November of three misdemeanor counts of illegally accessing a protected computer.

The decision by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu will not become final until his written ruling is filed, probably next week. Wu said he was concerned that if Drew was found guilty of violating the terms of service in using MySpace, anyone who violated the terms could be convicted of a crime.

Drew 50, was to be sentenced in May but Wu had delayed the sentencing until today, saying he wanted to consider the defense motion to dismiss the entire case.

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