It's pretty hard not to see William Melchert-Dinkel as a predator.
The American man, who is a former nurse, lurked on Internet chat rooms devoted to suicide where, posing as a suicidal female nurse, he encouraged others to kill themselves. At least two people, including a Canadian teenager, actually did.
But Minnesota's top court ruled Wednesday that what Melchert-Dinkel did was not illegal because prosecutors didn't prove he actually assisted in the suicides. Encouragement was not enough.
"We conclude that the State may prosecute Melchert-Dinkel for assisting another in committing suicide, but not for encouraging or advising another to commit suicide," the state Supreme Court said in its ruling.
"Because the district court did not make a specific finding on whether Melchert-Dinkel, 51, assisted the victims’ suicides, we remand for further proceedings consistent with his opinion."
The decisionRead More »from Online predator’s conviction for role in suicide of Canadian teen overturned