SB 818 Modifies various provisions relating to stalking and harassment
Sponsor: Rupp Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 3614L.08T Fiscal Note: 3614-08
Committee: Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action: 6/30/2008 - Signed by Governor Journal Page:
Title: HCS SS SCS SBs 818 & 795 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2008
House Handler: Smith

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Current Bill Summary


HCS/SS/SCS/SBs 818 & 795 - This act modifies various provisions relating to stalking and harassment.

This act requires school boards to have a written policy requiring school administrators to report crimes of harassment and stalking committed on school property to law enforcement.

Currently, the crime of harassment includes communications meant to frighten or disturb another person. Under this act, communications conducted to knowingly frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress to another person are included. Harassment includes communications by any means.

Harassment includes knowingly using unwanted expressions that put the person in reasonable apprehension of offensive physical contact or harm or knowingly making unwanted communications with a person.

A person also commits harassment:

1) By knowingly communicating with another person who is, or who purports to be, seventeen years of age or younger and in so doing, and without good cause, recklessly frightens, intimidates, or causes emotional distress to such other person; or

2) By engaging, without good cause, in any other act with the purpose to frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress to another person, cause such person to be frightened, intimidated, or emotionally distressed, and such person's response to the act is one of a person of average sensibilities considering the person's age.

Currently, harassment is a Class A misdemeanor. Under this act, it is a Class A misdemeanor unless 1) committed by a person twenty-one years of age or older against a person seventeen years of age or younger; or 2) the person has previously committed the crime of harassment. In such cases, harassment is a class D felony.

This act expands the crime of stalking to include any course of conduct with two or more acts over a period of time that is communicated by any means. A "credible threat" includes those made with the intent to cause the person who is the target to reasonably fear for his or her family's safety or family's pet's or livestock's safety, and not only his or her own safety.

Under this act, the definition of "harasses" is modified to include conduct directed at a specific person that serves no legitimate purpose, that would cause a reasonable person to be frightened or intimidated, as well as emotionally distressed. A person need only harass a person purposely, rather than purposely and repeatedly, to commit the crime of stalking or aggravated stalking.

Currently, a person commits the crime of aggravated stalking by purposely and repeatedly harassing another person and making a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious physical injury. Under this act, a person commits such crime by purposely harassing another person and 1) making a credible threat, as defined by statute; 2)at least one of the actions constituting the offense is a violation of an order of protection about which the person received notice; 3) at least one action constituting the offense is a probation, parole, or release of bond violation; 4) the other person is seventeen years of age or younger and the person harassing such person is twenty-one years or older; or 5) he or she has previously pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of domestic assault, violation of a protection order, or any other crime where the other person was the victim.

Currently, stalking is a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class D felony for a second offense committed within five years of the first offense. Under this act, stalking is a Class A misdemeanor unless the person has previously committed a stalking offense, in which case, it is a Class D felony, regardless of when the first offense was committed.

Currently, aggravated stalking is a Class D felony for a first offense and a Class C felony for a second offense committed within five years of the first offense. Under this act, aggravated stalking is Class D felony unless the person has previously committed a stalking offense, in which case, it is a Class C felony, regardless of when the first offense was committed.

This act shall not apply to activities of law enforcement officers conducting investigations.

This act is similar to HB 1852 (2008).

SUSAN HENDERSON MOORE