9A.90.110  <<  9A.90.120 >>   End of Chapter

Cyber harassment.

(1) A person is guilty of cyber harassment if the person, with intent to harass or intimidate any other person, and under circumstances not constituting telephone harassment, makes an electronic communication to that person or a third party and the communication:
(a)(i) Uses any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language, or suggests the commission of any lewd or lascivious act;
(ii) Is made anonymously or repeatedly;
(iii) Contains a threat to inflict bodily injury immediately or in the future on the person threatened or to any other person; or
(iv) Contains a threat to damage, immediately or in the future, the property of the person threatened or of any other person; and
(b) With respect to any offense committed under the circumstances identified in (a)(iii) or (iv) of this subsection:
(i) Would cause a reasonable person, with knowledge of the sender's history, to suffer emotional distress or to fear for the safety of the person threatened; or
(ii) Reasonably caused the threatened person to suffer emotional distress or fear for the threatened person's safety.
(2)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, cyber harassment is a gross misdemeanor.
(b) A person who commits cyber harassment is guilty of a class C felony if any of the following apply:
(i) The person has previously been convicted in this or any other state of any crime of harassment, as defined in RCW 9A.46.060, of the same victim or members of the victim's family or household or any person specifically named in a no-contact or no-harassment order;
(ii) The person cyber harasses another person under subsection (1)(a)(iii) of this section by threatening to kill the person threatened or any other person;
(iii) The person cyber harasses a criminal justice participant or election official who is performing the participant's official duties or election official's official duties at the time the communication is made;
(iv) The person cyber harasses a criminal justice participant or election official because of an action taken or decision made by the criminal justice participant or election official during the performance of the participant's official duties or election official's official duties; or
(v) The person commits cyber harassment in violation of any protective order protecting the victim.
(3) Any criminal justice participant or election official who is a target for threats or harassment prohibited under subsection (2)(b)(iii) or (iv) of this section, and any family members residing with the participant or election official, shall be eligible for the address confidentiality program created under RCW 40.24.030.
(4) For purposes of this section, a criminal justice participant includes any:
(a) Federal, state, or municipal court judge;
(b) Federal, state, or municipal court staff;
(c) Federal, state, or local law enforcement agency employee;
(d) Federal, state, or local prosecuting attorney or deputy prosecuting attorney;
(e) Staff member of any adult corrections institution or local adult detention facility;
(f) Staff member of any juvenile corrections institution or local juvenile detention facility;
(g) Community corrections officer, probation officer, or parole officer;
(h) Member of the indeterminate sentence review board;
(i) Advocate from a crime victim/witness program; or
(j) Defense attorney.
(5) For the purposes of this section, an election official includes any staff member of the office of the secretary of state or staff member of a county auditor's office, regardless of whether the member is employed on a temporary or part-time basis, whose duties relate to voter registration or the processing of votes as provided in Title 29A RCW.
(6) The penalties provided in this section for cyber harassment do not preclude the victim from seeking any other remedy otherwise available under law.
(7) Any offense committed under this section may be deemed to have been committed either at the place from which the communication was made or at the place where the communication was received.
(8) For purposes of this section, "electronic communication" means the transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. "Electronic communication" includes, but is not limited to, email, internet-based communications, pager service, and electronic text messaging.


Severability2004 c 94: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 2004 c 94 s 6.]
Effective dates2004 c 94: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [March 24, 2004], except for section 3 of this act, which takes effect July 1, 2004." [ 2004 c 94 s 7.]
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