Senate Bill No. 740
(By Senator Green)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported March 27, 2009.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §61-3C-14a of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to obscene, anonymous,
harassing and threatening communications by the internet;
publishing false statements via the internet designed to
injure the reputation of another; and setting penalties
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-3C-14a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3C. WEST VIRGINIA COMPUTER CRIME AND ABUSE ACT.
§61-3C-14a. Obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening
communications by computer; penalty.
(a) It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to harass
or abuse another person, to use a computer to:
(1) Make contact via the internet
with another without
disclosing his or her identity with the intent to harass or abuse;
(2) Make contact via the internet
with a person after being
requested by the person to desist from contacting them;
(3) Threaten via the internet
to commit a crime against any
person or property; or
(4) Cause obscene material to be delivered or transmitted via
to a specific person after being requested to desist
from sending such material.
(5) Publish via the internet a webpage or posting on a
newsgroup untrue statements about another person which are false
and designed to entice or encourage other people to ridicule or
perpetuate the untruth about that person.
For purposes of this section, "obscene material" means
(A) An average person, applying contemporary adult community
standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient
interest, is intended to appeal to the prurient interest, or is
pandered to a prurient interest;
(B) An average person, applying contemporary adult community
standards, would find, depicts or describes, in a patently
offensive way, sexually explicit conduct consisting of an ultimate
sexual act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, an excretory
function, masturbation, lewd exhibition of the genitals or
sadomasochistic sexual abuse; and
(C) A reasonable person would find, taken as a whole, lacks
literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit a computer under his or her control to be used for any purpose
prohibited by this section.
(c) Any offense committed under this section may be determined
to have occurred at the place at which the contact originated or
the place at which the contact was received or intended to be
(d) Any person who violates a provision of this section is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not more than $500 or confined in a
not more than six months, or both. For a second or subsequent
offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in a
county or regional jail for not more than one year, or both.