Test Drive Our New Site! We have some improvements in the works that we're excited for you to experience. Click here to try our new, faster, mobile friendly beta site. We will be maintaining our current version of the site thru the end of 2024, so you can switch back as our improvements continue.
Legislation Quick Search
07/21/2024 06:49 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Home / House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

Subscribe to PaLegis Notifications

Subscribe to receive notifications of new Co-Sponsorship Memos circulated

By Member | By Date | Keyword Search

House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 20, 2013 11:21 AM
From: Representative Ron Marsico
To: All House members
Subject: Cyber Harassment of a Child
With the advent of email and social networking, such as facebook, twitter and instagram, the ability of children (and even adults) to harass a child by repeatedly emailing or spreading seriously disparaging comments using social media has become all too prevalent. Most members have received letters from constituents about a child family member who was harassed over the internet and some may have a member of their own family who has suffered in this manner. The consequences can be devastating to a child. There have been numerous cases across the country where the harassment has become so acute, that a child took his or her own life as a result.

The current Harassment Statute, Section 2709 of the Crimes Code, is inadequate to address the ease with which a child can be harassed by means of electronic communication. I intend to introduce a bill that will amend this section of the Crimes Code to add a subsection dealing with cyber harassment of a child. It would make it a misdemeanor of the third degree to use electronic communications to repeatedly make statements or offer opinions about a child’s sexuality or sexual activity or make statements that significantly ridicule, demean or cause serious embarrassment to a child under the circumstances.

Cyber Harassment of a Child would be a misdemeanor of the third degree. This would allow intervention by law enforcement and juvenile probation officers who would initially review the case if it involved a juvenile offender. If appropriate, the case could be referred to juvenile court or the juvenile offender could be placed in a diversion program. An adult who engages in such conduct would be prosecuted in court, rather than be issued a summary citation, reflecting the seriousness of this form of child abuse.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1163