No charges over Megan Meier suicide

No charges over Megan Meier suicide

Parents angry over legal black hole

The parents of teenager Megan Meier have expressed anger at the news that the adult whom they claim bullied their daughter into suicide will not be prosecuted.

Meier, who was 13, struck up an online relationship with a 'teenager' known as 'Josh' via MySpace, but 'Josh' was in fact the mother of a former friend of Meier's.

'Josh' broke off the online relationship after six weeks and began abusing Meier and posting unpleasant messages. Meier, who suffered from depression, hanged herself the next day.

Her parents went public with the case after local law enforcers told them that there was nothing they could do.

Meier's home town of Dardenne Prairie has since passed a law making online harassment a misdemeanour with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

"Our daughter committed suicide," Meier's mother said. "I still feel what [the adult] did is absolutely criminal."

Jack Banas, prosecuting attorney for St. Charles County, said that there was nothing he could do.

He explained that there was no way of making a positive identification of who had sent the messages, and that the majority of the content was inoffensive.

"People are upset that a parent got involved in something so childish, and that a young girl committed suicide," he said.

"There are a few statements at the end that are a heated argument. That is why you have a hard time making a harassment case."

Banas added that current statutes allow action only when an individual sought to frighten, disturb or harass.

1 Comment:

While the Megan Meier case seems outrageous and unique, it isn’t. Hundreds of cases of egregious and heinous acts go on every day with the same excuses out of our lawmakers.

One such other case....The case of Nikki Catsouras, is a classic example of disgusting, hateful activity against innocent victims, while our lawmakers excuse themselves from enacting laws to prevent this.

The excuse lawmakers use to let themselves off the hook stem from the growth of the Internet and how fast it's changing. This is a sham.

Chat rooms, message boards, instant messengers and email have been in existence for far over a decade now. While the software used to transmit messages changes slightly, the basic essence of using the Internet to send a message is largely the same. Is a decade or two long enough to establish some basic decency laws in regards to Internet usage?

I’ve posted the Nikki Catsouras story along with many details about the Megan Meier case so the inactivity out of our lawmakers towards these types of cases can be clearly seen.

Those who are interested in learning about cases like Megan’s and Nikki’s case are encouraged to drop by and comment on them. I have a couple of polls set up as well. Danny Vice would like to hear your point of view.

Public awareness of the problem and discussions about possible solutions are the best way to pressure elected officials into action instead of excuse making.

I invite you to come by and share your opinion.

Danny Vice