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Cyberharassment Leads To Suicide. Is It A Crime?

death_by_cyberbully.gifMegan, a 13-year-old St. Louis girl, was being harassed online. Turns out the 16-year-old harasser, “Josh Evans,” who initiated things by contacting Megan on MySpace, was the creation of the parents of Megan’s former best friend. Over the course of 6 weeks, “Josh” said some nasty things, including that Megan was “fat” and a “slut.” The last posting was too much for Megan, who suffered from depression. It said: The world would be a better place without you. Soon thereafter, Megan hung herself.

So is it a crime, what these wicked folks did to a young girl? Apparently not. Investigators are still looking for a crime a year later. Seems that the federal law enacted to prevent cyberharassing punishes direct messages, not postings. And in case you weren’t outraged enough, The Chicago Tribune reported “another neighbor as saying the parents encouraged their daughter ‘to join in the joke’ of the Josh Evans ruse. These 2 were meant for each others. On the bright side, though the paper hasn’t identified them, everyone in town knows who they are. So they will pay some price, even if not at the hands of the law.

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