FLORISSANT, Mo. – The City Council on Monday made Internet harassment a crime – the second St. Louis suburb to pass such a law after a 13-year-old girl hung herself after being cyber-bullied. The law punishes violators with up to six months in jail and fines.
The law is similar to one passed last week in Dardenne Prairie, where the teen-age girl killed herself after receiving hurtful messages on MySpace.com from a person she thought was a boy.
The boy turned out to be a fictional account, allegedly set up by neighbors who claimed they were trying to see what the girl was saying online about their daughter. The case, which created national outrage, spurred the Florissant City Council to pass the ordinance in hopes it will encourage passage of state and national laws.
Florissant is 18 miles north of St. Louis; Dardenne Prairie is 35 miles west of St. Louis.