senate Bill S2366

Establishes offense for the electronic stalking of minors

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 09 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 09 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1202
  • 10 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 10 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 10 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Establishes offense for the electronic stalking of minors within the class A misdemeanor of stalking in the third degree; establishes offenses of criminal impersonation by electronic means; includes harassment by electronic means within the class A misdemeanor of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4171
Versions:
S2366
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Assembly Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§120.40, 120.50, 190.25, 190.26, 240.00 & 240.30, Pen L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S6132A, A8978A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2366

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to the
electronic stalking of a minor, criminal impersonation by means of
electronic communications and aggravated harassment by means of
electronic communication

PURPOSE: This anti-cyberbullying legislation will: create a new penal
law definition of "electronic communication"; a stalking in the third
degree offense when a person intentionally engages in a course of
conduct using electronic communication directed at a child under the
age of 21, causing reasonable fear of or actual harm to the child; and
an aggravated harassment in the second degree offense for electronic
communication transmitted with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten
at alarm another person.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Amends section 120.40 of the penal law by adding a new
subdivision 6 that defines "electronic communication" any transfer of
signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any
nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio,
electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optional system.
Electronic communication shall include, but not be limited to, the
transfer of such communications through the internet.

Section 2. Amends section 120.50 of the penal law by adding a new
subdivision 5, which states a person is guilty of stalking in the
third degree when he or she intentionally, and for no legitimate
purpose, engages in a course of conduct using electronic communication
directed at a child under the age of twenty-one years, and such
conduct is likely to cause such child a reasonable fear of material
harm to his or her physical health, safety or property or is likely to
cause material harm to the physical health, emotional health, safety
or property of such child..

For the purposes of this subdivision, any electronic communications
directed at a child under the age of twenty-one years and transmitted
to multiple recipients need not be received by the child at whom such
communications are directed.

Section 3. Amends the penal law by adding a new subdivision 5 to
section 190.25 which states a person is guilty of criminal
impersonation in the second degree, an A misdemeanor, when he or she
impersonates another person by electronic communication, and thereby
commits a misdemeanor. For the purposes of this subdivision,
"electronic communication" shall mean any transfer of signs, signals,
writings,-images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature
transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic,
photo-electronic or photo-optional system. Electronic communication
shall include, but not be limited to, the transfer of such
communications through the Internet.

Section 4. Amends the penal law by adding a new subdivision 4 to
section 190.26 which states a person is guilty of criminal
impersonation in the first degree, an E felony, when he or she


impersonates another person by electronic communication, and thereby
commits a felony. For the purposes of this subdivision, "electronic
communication" shall mean any transfer of signs, signals, writings,
images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in
whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or
photo-optional system. Electronic communication shall include, but not
be limited to, the transfer of such communication through the
Internet.

Section 5. Amends section 240.00 of the penal law by adding a new
subdivision 7 that defines "electronic communication" any transfer of
signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any
nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio,
electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optional system. Electronic
communication shall include, but not be limited to, the transfer of
such communications through the internet.

Section 6. Amends subdivision 1 of section 240.30 of the penal law to
add electronic communications to telephone, telegraph, mail and
recordings as eligible modes of transmission for the offense of
aggravated harassment in the second degree.

Section 7. Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: With the rapid development of information and
communication technologies, a new form of bullying has emerged known
as cyberbullying. With the use of cell phones and social networking
sites, adolescent cruelty has been amplified and shifted from school
yards and hallways to the Internet, where a nasty, profanity-laced
comment, complete with an embarrassing photo, can be viewed by a
potentially limited number of people, both known and unknown.

In addition to causing substantial psychological harm and emotional
distress, cyberbullying has been blamed for nearly a dozen teen
suicides. In September 2011, New Yorker Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year old
boy from Williamsville, near Buffalo, NY, took his life after what his
parents claim was yeas of bullying because of struggles with his
sexuality.

This bill expands the existing crimes of stalking in the third degree
and aggravated harassment in the second degree to include
cyberbullying. Both offenses are class A misdemeanors, but are
eligible to be elevated to felonies if additional hate crime criteria
are present. The stalking offense will apply to conduct committed
against individuals under the age of 21, but the aggravated harassment
amendment will protect New Yorkers of all ages.

Existing laws in the state of New York are not currently adequate to
properly address this new and emerging problem of cyberbullying. This
bill seeks to bring the state's stalking and harassment statutes
up-to-date, give bullies a concrete reason to quit their online
antics, and provide victims and prosecutors with laws that can be
enforced against this new breed of bully.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 - S. 6132-A - Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.


EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November
next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2366

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  KLEIN, ADAMS, ADDABBO, AVELLA, BRESLIN, CARLUCCI,
  ESPAILLAT,  GALLIVAN,  GOLDEN,  GRISANTI,  HANNON,  KENNEDY,   LARKIN,
  MARTINS,  MAZIARZ,  RANZENHOFER,  SAVINO,  STAVISKY,  STEWART-COUSINS,
  VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed,  and  when  printed  to  be
  committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to the electronic stalking of
  a  minor, criminal impersonation by means of electronic communications
  and aggravated harassment by means of electronic communication

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. Section 120.40 of the penal law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 6 to read as follows:
  6. "ELECTRONIC  COMMUNICATION"  SHALL  MEAN  ANY  TRANSFER  OF  SIGNS,
SIGNALS,  WRITINGS,  IMAGES,  SOUNDS, DATA OR INTELLIGENCE OF ANY NATURE
TRANSMITTED IN WHOLE OR IN  PART  BY  A  WIRE,  RADIO,  ELECTROMAGNETIC,
PHOTO-ELECTRONIC  OR  PHOTO-OPTIONAL  SYSTEM.   ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,  THE  TRANSFER  OF  SUCH  COMMUNI-
CATIONS THROUGH THE INTERNET.
  S  2.  Subdivision  4  of section 120.50 of the penal law, as added by
chapter 635 of the laws of 1999, is amended and a new subdivision  5  is
added to read as follows:
  4.  Commits  the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and has previ-
ously been convicted within the preceding ten years of stalking  in  the
fourth degree[.]; OR
  5.  INTENTIONALLY,  AND FOR NO LEGITIMATE PURPOSE, ENGAGES IN A COURSE
OF CONDUCT USING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DIRECTED AT A CHILD UNDER  THE
AGE OF TWENTY-ONE YEARS, AND SUCH CONDUCT:
  (A)  IS  LIKELY TO CAUSE SUCH CHILD A REASONABLE FEAR OF MATERIAL HARM
TO HIS OR HER PHYSICAL HEALTH, SAFETY OR PROPERTY; OR
  (B) IS LIKELY TO CAUSE MATERIAL HARM TO THE PHYSICAL HEALTH, EMOTIONAL
HEALTH, SAFETY OR PROPERTY OF SUCH CHILD.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02749-01-3

S. 2366                             2

  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION,  ANY  ELECTRONIC  COMMUNICATIONS
DIRECTED AT A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE YEARS AND TRANSMITTED TO
MULTIPLE  RECIPIENTS  NEED  NOT  BE  RECEIVED  BY THE CHILD AT WHOM SUCH
COMMUNICATIONS ARE DIRECTED.
  S  3.  Paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision  3 and subdivision 4 of section
190.25 of the penal law, paragraph (b) of subdivision 3  as  amended  by
chapter 27 of the laws of 1980 and subdivision 4 as added by chapter 304
of  the  laws  of  2008, are amended and a new subdivision 5 is added to
read as follows:
  (b) so acts with intent to induce another to submit to such  pretended
official  authority,  to  solicit funds or to otherwise cause another to
act in reliance upon that pretense[.]; OR
  4. Impersonates another by communication by internet website or  elec-
tronic means with intent to obtain a benefit or injure or defraud anoth-
er, or by such communication pretends to be a public servant in order to
induce  another  to  submit to such authority or act in reliance on such
pretense[.]; OR
  5. IMPERSONATES ANOTHER PERSON BY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, AND THERE-
BY COMMITS A MISDEMEANOR. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS  SUBDIVISION,  "ELEC-
TRONIC  COMMUNICATION"  SHALL MEAN ANY TRANSFER OF SIGNS, SIGNALS, WRIT-
INGS, IMAGES, SOUNDS, DATA OR INTELLIGENCE OF ANY NATURE TRANSMITTED  IN
WHOLE  OR IN PART BY A WIRE, RADIO, ELECTROMAGNETIC, PHOTO-ELECTRONIC OR
PHOTO-OPTIONAL SYSTEM. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION SHALL INCLUDE,  BUT  NOT
BE LIMITED TO, THE TRANSFER OF SUCH COMMUNICATIONS THROUGH THE INTERNET.
  S  4.  Subdivision  3  of section 190.26 of the penal law, as added by
chapter 2 of the laws of 1998, is amended and a  new  subdivision  4  is
added to read as follows:
  3.  Pretending to be a duly licensed physician or other person author-
ized to issue a prescription for any drug or any  instrument  or  device
used in the taking or administering of drugs for which a prescription is
required by law, communicates to a pharmacist an oral prescription which
is  required  to  be reduced to writing pursuant to section thirty-three
hundred thirty-two of the public health law[.]; OR
  4. IMPERSONATES ANOTHER PERSON BY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, AND THERE-
BY COMMITS A FELONY. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS  SUBDIVISION,  "ELECTRONIC
COMMUNICATION"  SHALL  MEAN  ANY  TRANSFER  OF SIGNS, SIGNALS, WRITINGS,
IMAGES, SOUNDS, DATA OR INTELLIGENCE OF ANY NATURE TRANSMITTED IN  WHOLE
OR  IN  PART  BY  A  WIRE,  RADIO,  ELECTROMAGNETIC, PHOTO-ELECTRONIC OR
PHOTO-OPTIONAL SYSTEM. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION SHALL INCLUDE,  BUT  NOT
BE LIMITED TO, THE TRANSFER OF SUCH COMMUNICATIONS THROUGH THE INTERNET.
  S 5. Section 240.00 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdi-
vision 7 to read as follows:
  7.  "ELECTRONIC  COMMUNICATION"  MEANS ANY TRANSFER OF SIGNS, SIGNALS,
WRITINGS, IMAGES, SOUNDS, DATA OR INTELLIGENCE OF ANY NATURE TRANSMITTED
IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY A WIRE, RADIO, ELECTROMAGNETIC,  PHOTO-ELECTRONIC
OR  PHOTO-OPTIONAL SYSTEM.   ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION SHALL INCLUDE, BUT
NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE  TRANSFER  OF  SUCH  COMMUNICATIONS  THROUGH  THE
INTERNET.
  S  6.  Subdivision 1 of section 240.30 of the penal law, as amended by
chapter 510 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
  1. Either (a) communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by
telephone, BY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, by telegraph, or by mail, or  by
transmitting or delivering any other form of written communication, in a
manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or
  (b) causes a communication to be initiated by mechanical or electronic
means  or  otherwise  with  a person, anonymously or otherwise, by tele-

S. 2366                             3

phone, BY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, by telegraph,  or  by  mail,  or  by
transmitting or delivering any other form of written communication, in a
manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or
  S 7. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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