A N A C T
RELATING TO COMPUTER CRIME -- CYBERSTALKING
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 11-52 of the General Laws entitled "Computer Crime" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following sections:
11-52-4.2. Cyberstalking prohibited. -- (a) Whoever transmits any communication by computer to any person or causes any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both. For the purpose of this section, the word "harasses" means following a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or bothers the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be of a kind that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury. The words "course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."
(b) A second or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, by a fine of not more than six thousand dollars ($6,000), or both.
11-52-4.3. Violation of restraining order. -- (a) Whenever there is a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction enjoining one (1) person from harassing another person, and the person so enjoined is convicted of the crime as set forth in section 11-52-4.2 for actions against the person protected by the court order or injunction, he or she shall be guilty of a felony which shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years or by a fine of not more than six thousand dollars ($6,000), or both.
(b) A second or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.