Law aims at protecting cyberstalking victims

Posted at 8:34 PM, Apr 25, 2016

Victims of online harassment will soon have added protection under a bill that is headed to the governor's desk. 

A Broadview Heights woman found little legal help after someone threatened her in emails, faxes and created a website to harass her and her family. That was 10 years ago and since then she has been working with lawmakers to get legislation passed to protect cyberstalking victims. 

The bill seeks to keep harassers from causing victims to believe that their family members will be physically or mentally harmed. Violators could face a misdemeanor on the first offense but a felony if it continued. 

Rep. Marlene Anielski said the bill sends a message that menacing behavior won't be tolerated.  "The need came for this because it is happening more and more. We are behind the eight ball for technology laws," added Anielski.

"It expands the law of menacing and stalking to include cyber threats and stalking," said Independence Police Chief Michael Kilbane.

The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.