State House passes bill to make cyberbullying a crime

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 24, 2015 2:31 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

In this Oct. 24, 2013 photo, Mark Risinger, 16, checks his Facebook page on his computer as his mother, Amy Risinger, looks on at their home in Glenview, Ill.

(Harrisburg) --  A proposal making cyber harassment of a child in Pennsylvania a crime has the overwhelming approval of the state House.

The measure passed Monday, 193-to-5, and goes to the Senate for consideration. 

Under the bill, cyber harassment of a child would be a third-degree misdemeanor and a perpetrator under 18 would be under the jurisdiction of juvenile court. 

It defines the crime as being committed with an intent to harass, annoy or alarm by using electronic social media to disparage the child's health, characteristics, sexuality or sexual activity, or to threaten harm.  

A third-degree misdemeanor allows for a maximum of one year in prison.  

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