Stalking in Violation of Court Order, Restraining Order, 209A
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, Section 43(b) is an aggravated form of stalking with a minimum mandatory sentence of not less than one year in a house of corrections if the stalking is committed in violation of a temporary or permanent restraining or no-contact order issued under Chapter 208, 209, 209A and 209C, or a protection order issued by another state or jurisdiction or a temporary restraining or preliminary or permanent injunction issued by a the Superior Court.
Anyone who “(1) willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and (2) also makes a threat with the intent to place that person in imminent fear of death or serious bodily injury” will be guilty of stalking.
In order to get a conviction for stalking the prosecution needs to prove the all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The Defendant knowingly engaged in a pattern of conduct or series of acts, involving at least three incidents, directed at a specific person over a period of time;
- The Defendant’s conduct would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress;
- The Defendant’s conduct did in fact cause that person to become seriously alarmed or annoyed;
- The Defendant’s conduct was willful and malicious; and
- The Defendant made a threat and did so with the intent of placing that person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury.
Conduct includes acts or threats communicated by telephone, email, social media (i.e. facebook, facebook messenger, snapchat, twitter, instagram etc).
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