Senate File 275 had little resistance on the Senate floor Tuesday. The bill creates two new crimes, including the threat of targeted attack and cyber harassment.
The bill says any person who threatens to cause serious injury or death to persons assembled in a public space, school building or any occupied structure other than a single-family residence which thereby places such persons in reasonable apprehension of serious injury or death, or who threatens to commit such an act raising a reasonable expectation that the threat will be carried out, commits a class D felony.
Cyber harassment would be when someone, while making an online communication using an electronic device or through a social networking site, with the intent to threaten, intimidate or alarm another person. The person would knowingly send or post comments, requests, suggestions or threats of physical harm to or about the other person or the other person’s property without legitimate purpose and in a manner that a reasonable person under the same circumstances would interpret to cause fear of physical or emotional harm to the person or the person’s property.
Cyber harassment would be a serious misdemeanor.
“This is a necessary bill to make sure we’re safeguarding Iowans,” said the bill’s floor manager Sen. Jake Chapman. “It’s a good bill.”
Democrat Senators Rob Hogg and Rich Taylor voted against the legislation.