Stalking...

 

Stalking


Definition

The exact definition of stalking varies by state, but in general, stalking refers to a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear. Examples of this behavior include:

Brief Overview

Each year in the United States about 3.4 million people are victims of stalking. Young adults are the primary targets; the majority of victims are 18-24 years old. Most victims know their stalker. About 1 in 4 victims experienced some form of cyberstalking.

If You Are Being Stalked You Should Consider:

Impact

The impact of stalking can be profound and life altering. Individuals who are stalked often change many of their behavior patterns and have strong emotional responses to the stalking. Some responses to stalking include:

Stalking Laws

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have anti-stalking laws. However, the legal definitions vary.
Stalking Laws and related offenses for the state of Ohio are listed below.

Stalking

ORC Ann. 2903.211. Menacing by stalking. (2008)
(A)

(1) No person by engaging in a pattern of conduct shall knowingly cause another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the other person or cause mental distress to the other person.

(2) No person, through the use of any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, any computer, computer network, computer program, or computer system, shall post a message with purpose to urge or incite another to commit a violation of division (A)(1) of this section.

(3) No person, with a sexual motivation, shall violate division (A)(1) or (2) of this section.

 


(B)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of menacing by stalking.


(1)  Except as otherwise provided in divisions (B)(2) and (3) of this section, menacing by stalking is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(2)  Menacing by stalking is a felony of the fourth degree if any of the following applies:

(a) The offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section or a violation of section 2911.211 of the Revised Code
(b) In committing the offense under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the offender made a threat of physical harm to or against the victim, or as a result of an offense committed under division (A)(2) or (3) of this section, a third person induced by the offender's posted message made a threat of physical harm to or against the victim.
(c) In committing the offense under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the offender trespassed on the land or premises where the victim lives, is employed, or attends school, or as a result of an offense committed under division (A)(2) or (3) of this section, a third person induced by the offender's posted message trespassed on the land or premises where the victim lives, is employed, or attends school.
(d) The victim of the offense is a minor.
(e) The offender has a history of violence toward the victim or any other person or a history of other violent acts toward the victim or any other person.
(f) While committing the offense under division (A)(1) of this section or a violation of division (A)(3) of this section based on conduct in violation of division (A)(1) of this section, the offender had a deadly weapon on or about the offender's person or under the offender's control. Division (B)(2)(f) of this section does not apply in determining the penalty for a violation of division (A)(2) of this section or a violation of division (A)(3) of this section based on conduct in violation of division (A)(2) of this section.
(g) At the time of the commission of the offense, the offender was the subject of a protection order issued under section 2903.213 or 2903.214 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether the person to be protected under the order is the victim of the offense or another person.
(h) In committing the offense under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the offender caused serious physical harm to the premises at which the victim resides, to the real property on which that premises is located, or to any personal property located on that premises, or as a result of an offense committed under division (A)(2) of this section or an offense committed under division (A)(3) of this section based on a violation of division (A)(2) of this section, a third person induced by the offender's posted message caused serious physical harm to that premises, that real property, or any personal property on that premises.
(i) Prior to committing the offense, the offender had been determined to represent a substantial risk of physical harm to others as manifested by evidence of then-recent homicidal or other violent behavior, evidence of then-recent threats that placed another in reasonable fear of violent behavior and serious physical harm, or other evidence of then-present dangerousness. 

(3) If the victim of the offense is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child placing agency and the offense relates to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, menacing by stalking is either a felony of the fifth degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense of violence, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, a felony of the fourth degree.

(C)  Section 2919.271 of the Revised Code applies in relation to a defendant charged with a violation of this section.
(D)  As used in this section:

(1)  "Pattern of conduct" means two or more actions or incidents closely related in time, whether or not there has been a prior conviction based on any of those actions or incidents. Actions or incidents that prevent, obstruct, or delay the performance by a public official, firefighter, rescuer, emergency medical services person, or emergency facility person of any authorized act within the public official's, firefighter's, rescuer's, emergency medical services person's, or emergency facility person's official capacity, or the posting of messages or receipt of information or data through the use of an electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, a computer, computer network, computer program, computer system, or telecommunications device, may constitute a "pattern of conduct."
(2)  "Mental distress" means any of the following:

(a) Any mental illness or condition that involves some temporary substantial incapacity;
(b) Any mental illness or condition that would normally require psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services, whether or not any person requested or received psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services.

(3)  "Emergency medical services person" is the singular of "emergency medical services personnel" as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.
(4)  "Emergency facility person" is the singular of "emergency facility personnel" as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
(5)  "Public official" has the same meaning as in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code.
(6)  "Computer," "computer network," "computer program," "computer system," and "telecommunications device" have the same meanings as in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code.
(7)  "Post a message" means transferring, sending, posting, publishing, disseminating, or otherwise communicating, or attempting to transfer, send, post, publish, disseminate, or otherwise communicate, any message or information, whether truthful or untruthful, about an individual, and whether done under one's own name, under the name of another, or while impersonating another.
(8)  "Third person" means, in relation to conduct as described in division (A)(2) of this section, an individual who is neither the offender nor the victim of the conduct.
(9)  "Sexual motivation" has the same meaning as in section 2971.01 of the Revised Code.


(E)  The state does not need to prove in a prosecution under this section that a person requested or received psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services in order to show that the person was caused mental distress as described in division (D)(2)(b) of this section. 


(F)

(1) This section does not apply to a person solely because the person provided access or connection to or from an electronic method of remotely transferring information not under that person's control, including having provided capabilities that are incidental to providing access or connection to or from the electronic method of remotely transferring the information, and that do not include the creation of the content of the material that is the subject of the access or connection. In addition, any person providing access or connection to or from an electronic method of remotely transferring information not under that person's control shall not be liable for any action voluntarily taken in good faith to block the receipt or transmission through its service of any information that it believes is, or will be sent, in violation of this section.
(2) Division (F)(1) of this section does not create an affirmative duty for any person providing access or connection to or from an electronic method of remotely transferring information not under that person's control to block the receipt or transmission through its service of any information that it believes is, or will be sent, in violation of this section except as otherwise provided by law.
(3) Division (F)(1) of this section does not apply to a person who conspires with a person actively involved in the creation or knowing distribution of material in violation of this section or who knowingly advertises the availability of material of that nature.


ORC Ann. 2903.22. Menacing. (2001)
(A)  No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person's unborn, or a member of the other person's immediate family.
(B)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of menacing. Except as otherwise provided in this division, menacing is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If the victim of the offense is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child placing agency and the offense relates to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, menacing is a misdemeanor of the first degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense of violence, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, a felony of the fourth degree.


ORC Ann. 2903.21. Aggravated menacing. (2001)
(A)  No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause serious physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person's unborn, or a member of the other person's immediate family.

(B)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of aggravated menacing. Except as otherwise provided in this division, aggravated menacing is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the victim of the offense is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child placing agency and the offense relates to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, aggravated menacing is a felony of the fifth degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense of violence, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, a felony of the fourth degree.


Related Offenses

ORC Ann. 2907.08. Voyeurism. (2009)
(A)  No person, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying the person's self, shall commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another, to spy or eavesdrop upon another.
(B)  No person, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying the person's self, shall commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another to videotape, film, photograph, or otherwise record the other person in a state of nudity.
(C)  No person, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying the person's self, shall commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another to videotape, film, photograph, otherwise record, or spy or eavesdrop upon the other person in a state of nudity if the other person is a minor.
(D)  No person shall secretly or surreptitiously videotape, film, photograph, or otherwise record another person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person.

(E)   

(1)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of voyeurism.
(2)  A violation of division (A) of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
(3)  A violation of division (B) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(4)  A violation of division (D) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(5)  A violation of division (C) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree.


ORC Ann.  2911.211. Aggravated trespass. (1992)
(A)  No person shall enter or remain on the land or premises of another with purpose to commit on that land or those premises a misdemeanor, the elements of which involve causing physical harm to another person or causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to him.


 (B)  Whoever violates this section is guilty of aggravated trespass, a misdemeanor of the first degree.


ORC Ann. 2917.21. Telecommunications harassment. (2011)
(A)  No person shall knowingly make or cause to be made a telecommunication, or knowingly permit a telecommunication to be made from a telecommunications device under the person's control, to another, if the caller does any of the following:

(1)  Fails to identify the caller to the recipient of the telecommunication and makes the telecommunication with purpose to harass or abuse any person at the premises to which the telecommunication is made, whether or not actual communication takes place between the caller and a recipient;
(2)  Describes, suggests, requests, or proposes that the caller, the recipient of the telecommunication, or any other person engage in sexual activity, and the recipient or another person at the premises to which the telecommunication is made has requested, in a previous telecommunication or in the immediate telecommunication, that the caller not make a telecommunication to the recipient or to the premises to which the telecommunication is made;
(3)  During the telecommunication, violates section 2903.21 of the Revised Code;
(4)  Knowingly states to the recipient of the telecommunication that the caller intends to cause damage to or destroy public or private property, and the recipient, any member of the recipient's family, or any other person who resides at the premises to which the telecommunication is made owns, leases, resides, or works in, will at the time of the destruction or damaging be near or in, has the responsibility of protecting, or insures the property that will be destroyed or damaged;
(5)  Knowingly makes the telecommunication to the recipient of the telecommunication, to another person at the premises to which the telecommunication is made, or to those premises, and the recipient or another person at those premises previously has told the caller not to make a telecommunication to those premises or to any persons at those premises. 


(B)  No person shall make or cause to be made a telecommunication, or permit a telecommunication to be made from a telecommunications device under the person's control, with purpose to abuse, threaten, or harass another person.


(C)

(1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of telecommunications harassment.

(2) A violation of division (A)(1), (2), (3), or (5) or (B) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in division (C)(3) of this section, a violation of division (A)(4) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense. If a violation of division (A)(4) of this section results in economic harm of five hundred dollars or more but less than five thousand dollars, telecommunications harassment is a felony of the fifth degree. If a violation of division (A)(4) of this section results in economic harm of five thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars, telecommunications harassment is a felony of the fourth degree. If a violation of division (A)(4) of this section results in economic harm of one hundred thousand dollars or more, telecommunications harassment is a felony of the third degree. 

(D)  No cause of action may be asserted in any court of this state against any provider of a telecommunications service or information service, or against any officer, employee, or agent of a telecommunication service or information service, for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises out of the provider's, officer's, employee's, or agent's provision of information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with the terms of a court order that is issued in relation to the investigation or prosecution of an alleged violation of this section or section 4931.31 of the Revised Code. A provider of a telecommunications service or information service, or an officer, employee, or agent of a telecommunications service or information service, is immune from any civil or criminal liability for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises out of the provider's, officer's, employee's, or agent's provision of information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with the terms of a court order that is issued in relation to the investigation or prosecution of an alleged violation of this section or section 4931.31 of the Revised Code.


(E)  As used in this section:

(1)  "Economic harm" means all direct, incidental, and consequential pecuniary harm suffered by a victim as a result of criminal conduct. "Economic harm" includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(a) All wages, salaries, or other compensation lost as a result of the criminal conduct;
(b) The cost of all wages, salaries, or other compensation paid to employees for time those employees are prevented from working as a result of the criminal conduct;
(c) The overhead costs incurred for the time that a business is shut down as a result of the criminal conduct;
(d) The loss of value to tangible or intangible property that was damaged as a result of the criminal conduct.

(2)  "Caller" means the person described in division (A) of this section who makes or causes to be made a telecommunication or who permits a telecommunication to be made from a telecommunications device under that person's control.
(3)  "Telecommunication" and "telecommunications device" have the same meanings as in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code.
(4)  "Sexual activity" has the same meaning as in section 2907.01 of the Revised Code.
(F)  Nothing in this section prohibits a person from making a telecommunication to a debtor that is in compliance with the "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," 91 Stat. 874 (1977), 15 U.S.C. 1692, as amended, or the "Telephone Consumer Protection Act," 105 Stat. 2395 (1991), 47 U.S.C. 227, as amended.