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August 1, 2001

Ryan Signs Legislation to Deal with Cyberstalking

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan signed Senate Bill 233 today, which creates the criminal offense of cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is defined as using electronic communication to transmit a threat of bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to a person or place a person or their family member in reasonable apprehension of harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint on at least two occasions.

"This law ensures that this type of behavior is treated the same way as traditional forms of stalking," Governor Ryan said. "In many ways, cyberstalking can be more dangerous because of the challenges and problems it poses to law enforcement and the victims."

Senate Bill 233 is necessary to address the existing problem of cyberstalking that was brought about by advances in technology.

The cyberstalking law was passed unanimously by the General Assembly and is effective immediately. Under the new law cyberstalking is a class 4 felony, a second offense is a class 3 felony.

Chief sponsors of SB 233 were Senator Ira Silverstein, Chicago-D and Representative Jeff Schoenberg, Evanston-D.


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