Ohio House backs bill for cyberstalking victims
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 05 December 2013 15:15

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Victims of cyberstalking and other technology-based harassment would get better protection under a proposal approved by the Ohio House.

The bill, passed Wednesday with overwhelming support, makes it illegal to urge or incite menacing by stalking through any written communication, including electronic forms. It also includes any written or verbal graphic gestures.

The bill also prohibits a person from knowingly causing someone to think the offender will cause his or her immediate family physical or mental harm. Ohio prosecutors and the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio support it, the Columbus Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/IFgHM6 ).

State Rep. Marlene Anielski, a Republican from Walton Hills, shared the story Wednesday of a constituent who suffered through electronic harassment by a neighbor without any legal recourse.

The woman said she received hundreds of threatening emails and faxes, and was shown on a website that featured a picture of her and her husband hanging in effigy. She told a House committee she was terrified and couldn't do much about it.

"The bill brings our current laws on menacing and stalking up to date and will provide more peace of mind to the victims and families of those who have experienced these terrible situations," Anielski said.

The bill now goes to the Senate.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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