|Posted:||March 9, 2020 10:22 AM|
|From:||Representative Anthony M. DeLuca|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Clarifying Pennsylvania's Stalking Law|
|Imagine being methodically followed home by a stranger without knowing it – would you say that you were being stalked?
Unfortunately, a constituent in Allegheny County does not have to imagine this hypothetical; she was followed home one night, without her knowing it, and was sexually assaulted. Her stalker was eventually arrested and charged with multiple crimes. However, he was acquitted of the stalking charges because a jury concluded that the victim was not aware that she was being followed – even though there was video evidence of him following his victim.
To be clear, Pennsylvania law does not say that stalking is only a crime if the victim knows that they are being stalked; in fact, the statute does not explicitly say anything about a victim’s knowledge. Therefore, to protect stalking victims and to prevent future miscarriages of justice, I will be introducing legislation making it explicitly clear that stalking is a crime in Pennsylvania, regardless of whether a victim knows that they are being stalked.
It is critical that we stand with victims of stalking. I hope that you will join me in supporting this victim-centered legislation.