MySpace and News Corp Sued by Families Whose Daughters Were Assaulted

MySpace Inc., and its parent company, News Corp., (NYSE:NWS) are being sued in California state court by four families who allege that their minor daughters were solicited online and then sexually abused by adult MySpace users, according to a press release today by the law firms representing the families.

Families from New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina have filed separate lawsuits on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging negligence, recklessness, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation by the companies. The families are represented by the law firms of Barry & Loewy LLP, of Austin, Texas, and Arnold & Itkin LLP, of Houston, Texas.

The plaintiffs include:

– A 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl, “Julie Doe II,” who was lured to a meeting by an adult MySpace user, kidnapped, and sexually assaulted in 2006. The adult MySpace user is awaiting trial on 12 charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. (The cause number is SC092421.)

– A 15-year-old Texas girl, “Julie Doe III,” who was lured to a meeting, drugged and assaulted in 2006 by an adult MySpace user. Houston police officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents located the girl. The adult MySpace user later pled guilty to sexual assault and is serving a 10-year sentence in a Texas penitentiary. (The cause number is SC092423.)

– A 14-year-old New York girl, “Julie Doe IV,” was lured to a meeting by an adult MySpace user, severely intoxicated with alcohol and illicit drugs forced upon her, and then sexually assaulted by the adult MySpace user and his adult friend. The men later were charged with felony sexual assault and/or felony rape by New York authorities. The friend of the adult MySpace user pled guilty and is now in a New York penitentiary. The adult MySpace user is awaiting trial. (The cause number is SC092424.)

– Two South Carolina sisters, 14-year-old “Julie Doe V” and 15-year-old “Julie Doe VI,” who were lured to a meeting, severely intoxicated by alcohol and illicit drugs, and sexually assaulted and raped by two adult MySpace users. Both men were arrested by South Carolina authorities and are awaiting criminal prosecution. (The cause number is SC092422.)

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