According to Pew Research, 40% of people who use the internet say they have been victims of online harassment. Most of them also claim that social media is where it often takes place.
Now someone is accusing you of cyberstalking. This claim should not be taken lightly. Whether it is true or false, online harassment may violate state and federal laws.
When did cyber stalking become a crime?
In June 2004, a 38-year-old man pleaded guilty to Use of a Telecommunications Device (meaning the internet) with Intent to Annoy, Abuse, Threaten or Harass. This was the first federal prosecution of cyber harassment. The man had allegedly been cyberstalking his former girlfriend for years.
The victim went to the police with copies of the emails she had received. The police asked for help from several agencies, including the FBI and the United States Secret Service. When identified, the woman’s former boyfriend was indicted on 26 counts involving harassment.
Who feels harassed most frequently?
Pew Research has determined that men and women have different experiences with regard to online harassment. Men are more likely to receive milder forms, such as name-calling. However, they are also more likely than women to receive threats of physical violence. Women, especially those between the ages of 18 and 24, are targeted more frequently for sexual harassment.
In your defense
Both the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have the means of retrieving and analyzing computer evidence. Undoubtedly, a charge of cyberstalking is serious. However, errors in the prosecution’s case are possible, and your defense should involve independent examination of the evidence. Explore your legal options without delay.