A negligence lawsuit against the website MySpace, originally filed in response to a young girl who lied about her age being groomed online, was thrown out of a federal court in Texas this week. Meanwhile, another such lawsuit has been filed - by parents angry that their son was turned INTO a sexual predator due to the ease of meeting underage girls on MySpace.com.
Jarvis and Louise Clark contend that their son, whose name was withheld because he is 15, never openly exhibited signs of being aggressive until he started meeting young girls on MySpace two years ago. At that point, the Clarks claim, he began to exhibit erratic behavior, became withdrawn and started spending long stretches on the Internet.
"He even took strangely long showers, which was totally unlike him before," Mrs. Clark told The Disassociated Press.
When police arrived at their door three months ago saying the boy had been accused of stalking a 12-year-old girl and attempting to have sexual relations with her, the Clarks knew immediately that only a popular media icon with lots of money could be to blame.
"Our son was peaceful, loving and normal until around age 13," the Clarks said in a statement. "We know this isn't something that should naturally happen, a change like this to cause such sudden and extreme sexual anxiety. Therefore, it MUST be the result of his socializing on MySpace.com. He was enticed and entrapped by this horrible girl, and she used MySpace to do it. We feel MySpace must be stopped, and that it owes us $87.9 gajillion."
However, police say the girl in this case did not lie about her age or entice the accused boy.
Asked in a phone interview whether puberty, negligent parenting or a complete lack of any sense of personal responsibility might have contributed in some way to the boy's sexual aggression, Mr. Clark cursed and hung up.