The mother of a Texas teenager has sued MySpace.com for $30 million, after her daughter said she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on the social-networking site.
According to an article published Monday in The Austin American-Statesman newspaper, the 14-year-old said she was contacted by the 19-year-old defendant through her MySpace Web page in April. He was arrested in May, the article says.
The lawsuit alleges that MySpace.com has lax security in protecting its users, many of whom are younger than 16, the article says.
"MySpace is more concerned about making money than protecting children online," Adam Loewy, who is representing the girl and her mother in the lawsuit against MySpace, told the newspaper.
A call to Loewy's law office was not returned late Monday.
MySpace released a statement in response to a call for comment on the lawsuit, but a representative declined further comment.
"No one is more committed to Internet safety than MySpace. We take aggressive measures to protect our members," said Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam. "Ultimately, Internet safety is a shared responsibility. We encourage everyone on the Internet to engage in smart Web practices and have open family dialogue about how to apply offline lessons in the online world."
MySpace users have been at the center of other criminal allegations, and attorneys general from five states, including Texas, have asked MySpace to provide more security on the site, the newspaper says.
MySpace.com has reached out to parents and responded by hiring Nigam several months ago.