We live in Virginia.
BACKGROUND: My girlfriend was at a bar one night and ran into a friend of this woman (Iíll call her Sue) who has previously made my gfís life difficult by spreading rumors about her, having Sueís friends verbally assault her when they see her out, etc. Well this friend was intoxicated and began telling my gf that Sue had been saying things (calling her a whore, etc) about her again and that Sue really shouldnít be talking about anyone because she has been with so many guys. They also told my gf about an incident where Sue had claimed to not want to be around ďGísĒ (referring to black people) that many people on facebook were upset about. One guys even referred to her by name and said that she is always starting drama for everyone. So basically, my gf, upset about the situation, created a fake facebook profile and sent the woman a message saying that she should not F with peopleís lives without taking a look in the mirror. She then listed a bunch of guys that Sue has dated, ďtalkedĒ to, messed around with. She said that it was messed up that Sue would ďFĒ Gís, but didnít want to associate with them in public. It was also posted as the status, even though this fake profile did not have any friends to see it. So Sue replied and said that she wasnít referring to black people necessarily and that she was sorry and wasnít a drama-filled person.
My gf was mad when she sent the message, and she has told me repeatedly that she knows that it was the dumbest thing she could have done. She immediately deactivated the fake account. About a week later, my girlfriend logged back onto the account and sent an apology (still not revealing her identity) to Sue. She said she was sorry and things got out of hand. Sue replied saying that she was glad my gf contacted her because she had filed a police report and now that the facebook account was reactivated, the police could track the facebook ID to arrest her. Sue then said that if my gf did not reveal her identity, she would press charges for slander and harassment. My gf deactivated the account again and has not since contacted Sue. She has heard from a mutual friend that Sue said that the cops are investigating this to find the identity of the sender.
My question is, what is the most trouble that my gf could get into? Will the police really go so far as to investigate this? Iíve done a little research and know that the cops have to get a warrant to get the IP address from facebook , and then another warrant to get the physical location from the ISP. I donít know how hard it is to do this, but would they really go through the trouble to do this for something that is not that serious? I think that slander does not apply because nothing false was really said. My only concern is the harassment. Some similar situations Iíve read, people have said the cops wonít do much. Others said that they would track down and arrest the perpetrator.
Iím mostly worried because my gf is 6 months preganant with our baby and I know that stress can be really bad for the baby. Obviously, I also donít want her to go to jail. Iím really upset that she would do something so stupid! Should we start looking for a lawyer now? Any advice would be very helpful.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?