O’FALLON, Mo. (CN) – Gov. Matt Blunt signed an anti cyber-bullying measure into law, a few miles from where a girl hanged herself after receiving cruel messages through MySpace. The law makes it a felony for adults and a misdemeanor for minors who stalk via the Internet or make credible threats against a person or the person’s family. Adults could face up to 4 years in prison if convicted.
The measure is a response to the highly publicized case of Megan Meier. Meier, 13, killed herself after receiving cruel messages on MySpace from a person she thought was a boy. Federal prosecutors say an adult neighbor, Lori Drew, 49, set up the phony account to see what Meier was saying online about her daughter.
Drew has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and accessing computers without authorization in Los Angeles Court, where MySpace is based.