A jury in Los Angeles was unable to reach a verdict on the main conspiracy charge on Wednesday and instead convicted a Missouri woman of three minor offences for her role in an internet hoax that apparently drove a 13-year-old girl to suicide.

The federal court jury rejected felony charges of accessing a computer without authorization to inflict emotional distress on young Megan Meier.

However, the jury found defendant Lori Drew guilty of three counts of the lesser offence of accessing a computer without authorization. Each count is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The jurors could not reach a verdict on a conspiracy count, and U.S. District Court Judge George Wu declared a mistrial on that charge.

Drew could have been sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison if convicted of the four original counts.

Prosecutors said Drew violated the MySpace terms of service by conspiring with her young daughter and a business assistant to create a fictitious profile of a teen boy on the MySpace social networking site to harass Megan.

Megan, who had been treated for depression, hanged herself with a belt in her bedroom closet in 2006 after receiving a message from the fake profile saying the world would be better without her.