Cyberstalking Laws

 

West Virginia Computer Crime and Abuse Act

Note: The laws cited below were current as of December, 2011
(West Virginia Legislature).

 

 

§61-3C-14a. Obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, cell phones and electronic communication devices; penalty.

 

  1. (a) It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to harass or abuse another person, to use a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device to:
    1. (1) Make contact with another without disclosing his or her identity with the intent to harass or abuse;
    2. (2) Make contact with a person after being requested by the person to desist from contacting them;
    3. (3) Threaten to commit a crime against any person or property; or
    4. (4) Cause obscene material to be delivered or transmitted to a specific person after being requested to desist from sending such material.
  2. (b) For purposes of this section:
    1. (1) "Electronic communication device" means and includes a telephone, wireless phone, computer, pager or any other electronic or wireless device which is capable of transmitting a document, image, voice, e-mail or text message using such device in an electronic, digital or analog form from one person or location so it may be viewed or received by another person or persons at other locations.
    2. (2) "Use of a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device" includes, but is not limited to, the transmission of text messages, electronic mail, photographs, videos, images or other nonvoice data by means of an electronic communication system, and includes the transmission of such data, documents, messages and images to another's computer, e-mail account, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device.
  3. (3) "Obscene material" means material that:
    1. (A) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, is intended to appeal to the prurient interest, or is pandered to a prurient interest;
    2. (B) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexually explicit conduct consisting of an ultimate sexual act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, an excretory function, masturbation, lewd exhibition of the genitals, or sadomasochistic sexual abuse; and
    3. (C) A reasonable person would find, taken as a whole, lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
  4. (c) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit a computer, mobile phone or personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device under his or her control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
  5. (d) Any offense committed under this section may be determined to have occurred at the place at which the contact originated or the place at which the contact was received or intended to be received.
  6. (e) Any person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

 

 

§61-3C-14b. Soliciting, etc. a minor via computer; penalty.

Any person over the age of eighteen, who knowingly uses a computer to solicit, entice, seduce or lure, or attempt to solicit, entice, seduce or lure, a minor known or believed to be at least four years younger than the person using the computer or a person he or she believes to be such a minor, to commit any illegal act proscribed by the provisions of article eight, eight-b, eight-c or eight-d of this chapter, or any felony offense under section four hundred one, article four, chapter sixty-a of this code, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than two nor more than ten years, or both.

 

 

Federal Laws

Note: The laws cited below were current as of April, 2011

(Search the United States Code).

 

 

18 U.S.C. 2261A Interstate Stalking (1996; 2000; 2006)

Whoever-

 

  1. (1) travels in interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or enters or leaves Indian country, with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, and in the course of, or as a result of, such travel places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, or causes substantial emotional distress to that person, a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115 [18 USCS § 115]) of that person, or the spouse or intimate partner of that person; or
  2. (2) with the intent-
    1. (A) to kill, injure, harass, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person in another State or tribal jurisdiction or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or
    2. (B) to place a person in another State or tribal jurisdiction, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to-
      1. (i) that person;
      2. (ii) a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115 [18 USCS § 115]) of that person; or
      3. (iii) a spouse or intimate partner of that person; [and]

uses the mail, any interactive computer service, or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that causes substantial emotional distress to that person or places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, any of the persons described in clauses (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (B); shall be punished as provided in section 2261(b) of this title [18 USCS § 2261(b)].

 

 

18 U.S.C. 875(c) Interstate Communications

(c) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

 

 

47 U.S.C. 223(a) Obscene or Harassing Telephone Calls in the District of Columbia or in Interstate or Foreign Communications

This statute makes it a federal crime, punishable by up to two years in prison, to use a telephone or other telecommunications device to annoy, abuse, harass or threaten another person at another number.

 

  1. (a) Prohibited acts generally Whoever -
    1. (1) in interstate or foreign communications -
      1. (A) by means of a telecommunications device knowingly -
        1. (i) makes, creates, or solicits, and
        2. (ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene or child pornography, with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person;
      2. (B) by means of a telecommunications device knowingly -
        1. (i) makes, creates, or solicits, and
        2. (ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene or child pornography, knowing that the recipient of the communication is under 18 years of age, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call or initiated the communication;
      3. (C) makes a telephone call or utilizes a telecommunications device, whether or not conversation or communication ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number or who receives the communications;
      4. (D) makes or causes the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring, with intent to harass any person at the called number; or
      5. (E) makes repeated telephone calls or repeatedly initiates communication with a telecommunications device, during which conversation or communication ensues, solely to harass any person at the called number or who receives the communication; or
    2. (2) knowingly permits any telecommunications facility under his control to be used for any activity prohibited by paragraph (1) with the intent that it be used for such activity, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.