2903.211 Menacing by stalking.

(A)

(1) No person by engaging in a pattern of conduct shall knowingly cause another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the other person or cause mental distress to the other person.

(2) No person, through the use of any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, any computer, computer network, computer program, or computer system, shall post a message with purpose to urge or incite another to commit a violation of division (A)(1) of this section.

(3) No person, with a sexual motivation, shall violate division (A)(1) or (2) of this section.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of menacing by stalking.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in divisions (B)(2) and (3) of this section, menacing by stalking is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(2) Menacing by stalking is a felony of the fourth degree if any of the following applies:

(a) The offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section or a violation of section 2911.211 of the Revised Code.

(b) In committing the offense under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the offender made a threat of physical harm to or against the victim, or as a result of an offense committed under division (A)(2) or (3) of this section, a third person induced by the offender's posted message made a threat of physical harm to or against the victim.

(c) In committing the offense under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the offender trespassed on the land or premises where the victim lives, is employed, or attends school, or as a result of an offense committed under division (A)(2) or (3) of this section, a third person induced by the offender's posted message trespassed on the land or premises where the victim lives, is employed, or attends school.

(d) The victim of the offense is a minor.

(e) The offender has a history of violence toward the victim or any other person or a history of other violent acts toward the victim or any other person.

(f) While committing the offense under division (A)(1) of this section or a violation of division (A)(3) of this section based on conduct in violation of division (A)(1) of this section, the offender had a deadly weapon on or about the offender's person or under the offender's control. Division (B)(2)(f) of this section does not apply in determining the penalty for a violation of division (A)(2) of this section or a violation of division (A)(3) of this section based on conduct in violation of division (A)(2) of this section.

(g) At the time of the commission of the offense, the offender was the subject of a protection order issued under section 2903.213 or 2903.214 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether the person to be protected under the order is the victim of the offense or another person.

(h) In committing the offense under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the offender caused serious physical harm to the premises at which the victim resides, to the real property on which that premises is located, or to any personal property located on that premises, or, as a result of an offense committed under division (A)(2) of this section or an offense committed under division (A)(3) of this section based on a violation of division (A)(2) of this section, a third person induced by the offender's posted message caused serious physical harm to that premises, that real property, or any personal property on that premises.

(i) Prior to committing the offense, the offender had been determined to represent a substantial risk of physical harm to others as manifested by evidence of then-recent homicidal or other violent behavior, evidence of then-recent threats that placed another in reasonable fear of violent behavior and serious physical harm, or other evidence of then-present dangerousness.

(3) If the victim of the offense is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child placing agency and the offense relates to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, menacing by stalking is either a felony of the fifth degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense of violence, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, a felony of the fourth degree.

(C) Section 2919.271 of the Revised Code applies in relation to a defendant charged with a violation of this section.

(D) As used in this section:

(1) "Pattern of conduct" means two or more actions or incidents closely related in time, whether or not there has been a prior conviction based on any of those actions or incidents. Actions or incidents that prevent, obstruct, or delay the performance by a public official, firefighter, rescuer, emergency medical services person, or emergency facility person of any authorized act within the public official's, firefighter's, rescuer's, emergency medical services person's, or emergency facility person's official capacity, or the posting of messages or receipt of information or data through the use of an electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, a computer, computer network, computer program, computer system, or telecommunications device, may constitute a "pattern of conduct."

(2) "Mental distress" means any of the following:

(a) Any mental illness or condition that involves some temporary substantial incapacity;

(b) Any mental illness or condition that would normally require psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services, whether or not any person requested or received psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services.

(3) "Emergency medical services person" is the singular of "emergency medical services personnel" as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.

(4) "Emergency facility person" is the singular of "emergency facility personnel" as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.

(5) "Public official" has the same meaning as in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code.

(6) "Computer," "computer network," "computer program," "computer system," and "telecommunications device" have the same meanings as in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code.

(7) "Post a message" means transferring, sending, posting, publishing, disseminating, or otherwise communicating, or attempting to transfer, send, post, publish, disseminate, or otherwise communicate, any message or information, whether truthful or untruthful, about an individual, and whether done under one's own name, under the name of another, or while impersonating another.

(8) "Third person" means, in relation to conduct as described in division (A)(2) of this section, an individual who is neither the offender nor the victim of the conduct.

(9) "Sexual motivation" has the same meaning as in section 2971.01 of the Revised Code.

(E) The state does not need to prove in a prosecution under this section that a person requested or received psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services in order to show that the person was caused mental distress as described in division (D)(2)(b) of this section.

(F)

(1) This section does not apply to a person solely because the person provided access or connection to or from an electronic method of remotely transferring information not under that person's control, including having provided capabilities that are incidental to providing access or connection to or from the electronic method of remotely transferring the information, and that do not include the creation of the content of the material that is the subject of the access or connection. In addition, any person providing access or connection to or from an electronic method of remotely transferring information not under that person's control shall not be liable for any action voluntarily taken in good faith to block the receipt or transmission through its service of any information that it believes is, or will be sent, in violation of this section.

(2) Division (F)(1) of this section does not create an affirmative duty for any person providing access or connection to or from an electronic method of remotely transferring information not under that person's control to block the receipt or transmission through its service of any information that it believes is, or will be sent, in violation of this section except as otherwise provided by law.

(3) Division (F)(1) of this section does not apply to a person who conspires with a person actively involved in the creation or knowing distribution of material in violation of this section or who knowingly advertises the availability of material of that nature.

Effective Date: 08-29-2003; 2007 SB10 01-01-2008