The family of a 14-year-old California girl known only as Julie Doe are suing MySpace after the girl committed suicide. Doe was sexually assaulted by 30-year-old Kiley Ryan Bowers of Celina, Texas after the two met on MySpace in 2005.
Their online conversations led to a face-to-face meeting and the sexual assault near her home in Southern California.
Mr. Bowers broke off the relationship several months later, and the girl fell into “a deep depression as a result of the failed, despicable relationship fostered over MySpace,” the lawsuit states. She killed herself in July 2006.
Mr. Bowers, 30, pleaded guilty to traveling across state lines to have sex with a minor and was sentenced this summer to nine years in federal prison.
Now let’s hear from the attorney…
“MySpace knows that it is a haven for sexual predators, yet doesn’t put in any security measures to protect young girls,” said the family’s attorney, Jason Itkin. “We think that with MySpace’s right to make a profit comes a responsibility to protect its customers.”
“The main goal of these lawsuits is to get MySpace to stand up and put in meaningful protections that will make it more difficult to search out and find young girls,” said Mr. Itkin, whose firm is representing six other families who have sued MySpace on similar allegations.
I really hate to kick a family when they’re down but this lawsuit was once tried already and failed. Mr. Itkin was involved in that lawsuit as well. Mr. Itkin says these lawsuits are to protect the children but we all know it’s really about getting a huge payday.
The sexual assault took place in the girl’s home. Where were the parents when this assault took place? Why weren’t the parents checking up on her MySpace activities? Families are supposed to come with a built-in meaningful protection. They’re called parents.
U.S. district judge Sam Sparks said it best when he dismissed the original lawsuit. “If anyone had a duty to protect Julie Doe, it was her parents, not MySpace,”