A Snohomish County high school student was arrested earlier this month for threatening other students on social media.
The 18-year-old suspect was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of stalking and felony harassment, according to The Seattle Times. The teen is suspected of threatening an 18-year-old classmate on Snapchat. The victim received a Snapchat photo of an assault rifle and a pistol from the suspect, along with a threatening message. The victim also received a video of the Columbine High School shooting, followed by a photo of what appeared to be two males wearing masks and holding the assault rifle and pistol.
Per the Revised Code of Washington State, a person commits stalking if he or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses or follows another person and the person being harassed or followed fears the stalker intends to injure them, another person or property. Additionally, according to the statute, the stalker must intend to frighten, intimidate, or harass the victim; or reasonably should know that the victim is afraid, intimidated or harassed even if that was not the stalker's intent.
A person is guilty of cyberstalking if he or she, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment or embarrass any other person, makes an electronic communication to someone:
- Using any lewd, lascivious, indecent or obscene words, images or language, or suggesting lewd or lascivious acts.
- Anonymously or repeatedly whether or not conversation occurs.
- Threatening to injure the victim or their property or any member of their family or household.
Stalking can include unwanted telephone calls and text messages; unwanted letters and emails; spying on a victim; unwanted gifts; and spreading rumors -- written or verbal -- about a victim on the internet, on social media sites or in public places.
A person is guilty of harassment if the he or she threatens:
- To cause bodily injury.
- To cause physical damage to someone's property.
- To subject the victim or another person to physical confinement or restraint.
- To do anything that is intended to substantially harm the victim or another person physically or mentally.
Depending upon the circumstances, stalking, cyberstalking and harassment can be gross misdemeanors or a felonies. A gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Stalking is elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony if the suspect:
- Has a prior conviction for harassing the victim or a member of the victim's household or family, or a prior conviction for stalking another person.
- Violated an order of protection by stalking.
- Was in possession of a deadly weapon during the stalking.
- Stalks the victim in retaliation because the victim works in the legal system or gave testimony in a court proceeding.
Harassment is elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony under conditions similar to felony stalking.
Every defendant has the right to the best representation in court. If you are facing charges of stalking, harassment or any other criminal offense, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.