A St. Peters, Missouri woman faces felony harassment (cyberbullying) charges for posting a fake ad in the "casual encounters" section of Craigslist. Elizabeth A. Thrasher, 40, allegedly posted photos and personal information of a 17-year-old girl after a recent argument with the girl's mother over the Internet. The listing, containing the girl's employer, email address and cellphone number, implied that the girl was seeking a sexual encounter.
Both the L.A. Times and the Associated Press reports that the girl was actually the daughter of Thrasher's ex-husband's girlfriend. After the argument between Thrasher and the ex-girlfriend, the daughter allegedly sent Thrasher a message via MySpace. In retaliation, Thrasher posted the Craigslist ad, posing as the 17-year-old girl looking for sex.
Eventually the girl contacted police after receiving several "lewd" messages and photographs from men she did not know. Thanks to the Missouri legislature passed in regards to the MySpace cyberbullying incident that led to 13-year-old Megan Meier's suicide, Thrasher now faces felony charges that could lead to a maximum of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine if found guilty. The crime is deemed as a felony because the girl is under 18, and Thrasher is over 21.
Thrasher was released from police custody on a $10,000 bond. Her attorney, Michael Kielty, said that the Craigslist ad was no different than writing a number on a bathroom wall. "It may be in poor taste. It may be inappropriate, but it's not criminal behavior," Kielty said. There was also mention that the listing was merely a "practical joke."
Currently Thrasher is banned from using the Internet.