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NO. 124. AN ACT RELATING TO INTERNET CRIMES.

(S.314)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 13 V.S.A. § 2 is amended to read:

§ 2. CRIMES COMMITTED PARTLY OUTSIDE STATE

A person who, with intent to commit a crime, does an act within this state in execution or part execution of such intent, which culminates in the commission of a crime either within or without this state, shall be punished for such crime in this state in the same manner as if the same had been committed entirely within this state. A crime committed by means of an electronic communication, including a telephonic communication, shall be considered to have been committed at either the place where the communication originated or the place where it was received.

Sec. 2. 13 V.S.A. § 1027 is amended to read:

§ 1027. DISTURBING PEACE BY USE OF TELEPHONE OR OTHER

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

(a) A person who, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass or annoy, *[telephones]* makes contact by means of a telephonic or other electronic communication with another and (i) makes any request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent; (ii) threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of any person; or (iii) disturbs, or attempts to disturb, by repeated anonymous telephone calls or other electronic communications, whether or not conversation ensues, the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person at the place where the *[telephone call or calls]* communication or communications are received shall be fined not more than $250.00 or be imprisoned not more than three months or both. If the defendant has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or of an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States which would have been an offense under this act if committed in this state, *[he]* the defendant shall be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

(b) An intent to terrify, threaten, harass or annoy may be inferred by the trier of fact from the use of obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent language or the making of a threat or statement or repeated anonymous telephone calls or other electronic communications as set forth in this section and any trial court may in its discretion include a statement to this effect in its jury charge.

(c) An offense committed by use of a telephone or other electronic communication device as set forth in this section shall be considered to have been committed at either the place where the telephone call or calls originated or at the place where the *[telephone call]* communication or communications or calls were received.

Sec. 3. 13 V.S.A. § 1061 is amended to read:

§ 1061. DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter,

* * *

(4) "Harassing" means a course of conduct directed at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to fear unlawful sexual conduct, unlawful restraint, bodily injury, or death, including but not limited to verbal threats, written, telephonic or other electronically communicated threats, vandalism, or unconsented to physical contact.

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Sec. 4. 13 V.S.A. § 1753 is amended to read:

§ 1753. FALSE PUBLIC ALARMS

A person who initiates or willfully circulates or transmits a report of warning of an impending bombing or other offense or catastrophe, knowing that the report or warning is false or baseless and that it is likely to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transport, or to cause public inconvenience or alarm, shall, for the first offense, be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both. For the second or subsequent offense, the person shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both. In addition, the court may order the person to perform community service. Any community service ordered under this section shall be supervised by the department of corrections.

Sec. 5. 13 V.S.A. § 2005 is amended to read:

§ 2005. FALSE ADVERTISING

A person, firm, corporation or association, or an agent or employee thereof, who, with intent to sell courses of instruction or to dispose of merchandise, real estate, securities or service or to induce the public to enter into any obligations relating thereto, shall knowingly make, publish, circulate or place before the public on radio or television or in a newspaper, magazine or other publication or in form of a book, notice, circular, pamphlet, letter, handbill, poster, bill, sign, placard, card, label or tag, or through an electronic communication, an advertisement or statement regarding educational advantages, merchandise, real estate, securities or service, which advertisement or statement shall contain anything untrue, deceptive or misleading, shall be fined not more than $1,000.00.

Sec. 6. 13 V.S.A. § 2103 is amended to read:

§ 2103. LOTTERY TICKETS

(a) A person shall not:

(1) Sell a lottery ticket or an interest therein, or a paper purporting to be a lottery ticket or an interest therein;

(2) Open or keep an office, shop or store for the purpose of selling or procuring a lottery ticket or paper or an interest therein;

(3) Act as a broker or agent in buying, selling or procuring to be bought or sold or disposed of in any way such ticket or interest therein, or in effecting or in endeavoring to effect a contract in regard thereto;

(4) Set up, exhibit or publish or cause to be set up, exhibited or published within this state written *[or]*, printed or electronically communicated proposals to buy, sell or procure such ticket or interest therein.

(b) A person violating a provision hereof shall be fined not more than $300.00.

(c) For purposes of this section, no internet service provider or provider of internet transport facilities shall be liable solely as a result of use of its facilities by a third party for a prohibited use without the provider’s actual knowledge or express consent.

Sec. 7. 13 V.S.A. § 2802(a) is amended to read:

(a) No person may, with knowledge of its character and content, sell, lend, distribute or give away to a minor:

(1) Any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film, or similar visual representation or image, including any such representation or image which is communicated, transmitted, or stored electronically, of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity, sexual conduct or sado-masochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors; or

(2) Any book, pamphlet, magazine, printed matter however reproduced, or sound recording which contains any matter enumerated in *[paragraph]* subdivision (1) *[hereof]* of this subsection, or explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexual conduct or sado-masochistic abuse and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors.

Sec. 8. 13 V.S.A. § 2804a is amended to read:

§ 2804a. PUBLICLY DISPLAYING SEX OR NUDITY FOR

ADVERTISING PURPOSES

No person may knowingly, publicly display nudity or sex for advertising purposes. A violation of this section occurs if a person:

(1) Displays publicly or causes to be displayed publicly for advertising purposes a picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture or other visual representation or image, including any such representation or image which is communicated, transmitted, or stored electronically, of a person or portion of the human body that depicts nudity, sado-masochistic abuse, sexual conduct or sexual excitement, which is harmful to minors, or any page, poster or other written or printed matter bearing such representation or a verbal description or narrative account of such items or activities; or

(2) Permits any public display described in this section on premises owned, rented or operated by him or her; or

(3) For advertising purposes, purchases space in any newspaper, magazine or other circular, printed in this state, in order to insert any article or advertisement which contains material harmful to minors.

Sec. 9. 13 V.S.A. § 2821 is amended to read:

§ 2821. DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(5) "Promote" means to procure, issue, manufacture, publish, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, distribute, disseminate, circulate, present, exhibit, advertise, or offer to do the same, by any means, including electronic transmission.

Sec. 10. 15 V.S.A. § 1101(2) is amended to read:

(2) "Household members" means persons who, for any period of time, are living or have lived together, are sharing or have shared occupancy of a dwelling, are engaged in or have engaged in a sexual relationship, or minors or adults who are dating or who have dated. “Dating” means a social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors that the court may consider when determining whether a dating relationship exists or existed include:

(A) the nature of the relationship;

(B) the length of time the relationship has existed;

(C) the frequency of interaction between the parties;

(D) the length of time since the relationship was terminated, if applicable.

Approved: May 18, 2000