United States v. Drew

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.


Threat Type: 

Criminal Charge








Dismissed (total)
Verdict (plaintiff)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

On May 15, 2008, Lori Drew was indicted in federal court in California for her alleged role in a hoax on MySpace directed at Megan Meier, a 13-year-old neighbor of Drew's who committed suicide in October 2006 after a "boy" she met... read full description

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Lori Drew

Type of Party: 


Type of Party: 


Location of Party: 

  • California

Location of Party: 

  • Missouri

Legal Counsel: 

H. Dean Steward; Orin S. Kerr
On May 15, 2008, Lori Drew was indicted in federal court in California for her alleged role in a hoax on MySpace directed at Megan Meier, a 13-year-old neighbor of Drew's who committed suicide in October 2006 after a "boy" she met on MySpace abruptly turned on her and ended their relationship. The boy was allegedly Lori Drew, who pretended to be 16-year-old "Josh Evans" to gain the trust of Megan, who had been fighting with Drew's daughter.

The grand jury charged Drew with conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. The indictment charges that

[o]n or about the following dates, defendant DREW, using a computer in O'Fallon, Missouri, intentionally accessed and caused to be accessed a computer used in interstate commerce, namely, the MySpace servers located in Los Angeles County, California, within the Central District of California, without authorization and in excess of authorized access, and, by means of interstate commerce obtained and caused to be obtained information from that computer to further tortious acts, namely intentional infliction of emotional distress on [Meier].


06/16/2008- Drew pleaded not guilty.

07/23/2008- Drew filed three motions to dismiss the indictment on grounds of failure to state an offense, vagueness, and unconstitutional delegation of prosecutorial power.

08/1/2008- Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society submitted an amicus brief supporting dismissal of the case

09/4/2008 - In a hearing, Judge Wu denied Drew's motions to dismiss the indictment based on vagueness and improper delegation of authority, but kept her motion to dismiss for failure to state an offense under advisement. 

11/05/2008 - Drew filed a notice of waiver of her right to a jury trial, but the government refused to consent to the waiver.  Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23, a defendant cannot waive a jury trial without the consent of the government. 

11/10/2008 - Judge Wu indicated in pretrial conference that he was inclined to grant Drew's motion in limine to exclude evidence of Megan Meier's suicide at trial on grounds of lack of relevance and tendency of the evidence to unfairly prejudice the jury.

11/14/08 - Judge Wu indicated at a hearing that he would allow evidence of Megan Meier's suicide at trial, but that he would instruct jurors that the case was not about the suicide and that Drew is not charged with causing the suicide.

11/26/08 - The jury returned a verdict acquitting Drew on the felony CFAA charges and finding her guilty on misdemeonor CFAA charges. The jury deadlocked on the felony conspiracy count. Counsel for Drew indicated that he would file a motion for a new trial, and the court set a hearing for December 29, 2008.  The court took the Drew's renewed motion for judgment of acquittal under submission.

12/30/08 - The Government filed an ex parte application to dismiss the felony conspiracy count (Count 1) without prejudice.  Drew responded, arguing that dismissal should be with prejudice.

1/8/09 - The court held a hearing on Drew's motion for judgment of acquittal, but did not make a ruling. Judge Wu indicated that he might issue a written ruling within two weeks.

7/2/09 - Judge Wu announced that he would be dismissing all charges against Drew.

8/28/09 - Judge Wu issued an opinion granting Drew's motion for judgment of acquittal.


Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Social Network

Subject Area: 

  • Criminal
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Cyberbullying
  • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Court Information & Documents


  • California

Source of Law: 

  • United States

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Central District of California

Court Type: 


Case Number: 


Relevant Documents: