ALL NEWS

Utah lawmakers consider changes to stalking laws

Oct 27, 2020, 6:51 AM
Utah stalking laws...
A Provo woman is pleading guilty for her role in a Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud scheme. (PHOTO: File, Pexels)
(PHOTO: File, Pexels)

SALT LAKE CITY – A constituent of Utah State Representative Candice Pierucci (R-Herriman) wrote his ex-girlfriend a letter on the advice of a therapist to get closure over the relationship. A short while later, he asked the woman to delete a photo featuring his family on her professional Instagram account.

That constituent was arrested and jailed for stalking.  

That’s why Pierucci, as well as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and victims’ advocates, are asking for minor changes to Utah’s stalking laws so situations like this do not happen again. 

A bill being considered would raise the number of contacts between an alleged victim and perpetrator from two to three. Those contacts would also have to be part of a pattern of behavior. 

Pierucci believes it is a step in the right direction. 

“Obviously, this is a complex issue. But in adding the continuity of purpose [language] and reviewing the number of acts, this helps us take a more targeted approach and [get] a clearer perspective of what stalking is,” Pierucci said during a Criminal Code Task Force meeting at the Utah State Capitol on Monday.

It’s an idea Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney William Carlson supports. 

“If you do three random, bonehead things, that’s one thing. But if you keep sending texts about your undying love for this person who’s asked you to leave them alone, or tracking somebody over and over again, that’s where you get to the stalking behavior,” Carlson said. 

Pierucci said another reason prosecutors are fine with raising the number of contacts is that stalking cases typically involve more than three acts against the victim. It would also make Utah’s law similar to those of several other states.

Lawmakers would still need to flesh out some details to make sure people do not end up in jail for sending three one-word texts. A popular way for younger Millennials and Generation Z to communicate. 

Other lawmakers at Monday’s meeting said they’d also like to see tougher penalties if someone commits one or two serious crimes while stalking or is clearly a threat to their victim before the three-act threshold. 


Hawaii man pleads guilty to cyberstalking Utah family

Today’s Top Stories

All News

FILE - President Joe Biden is taking his first major steps in decriminalizing marijuana. (AP Photo/...
Kevin Liptak, CNN

Biden to pardon all federal offenses of simple marijuana possession in first major steps toward decriminalization

The president will also encourage governors to take similar steps to pardon simple marijuana possession charges at the state level.
14 hours ago
election offices...
JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press

Falsehoods, harassment stress local election offices in US

Local election offices across the U.S. report being targeted by threatening emails and left to cope with misinformation and staff shortages.
14 hours ago
State employees are awarded by Governor Cox for their exceptional service to the citizens of Utah. ...
Aubri Wuthrich

Governor Cox presents awards to state employees.

The Award of Excellence was created to recognize employees that go the extra mile and show exceptional dedication.
14 hours ago
Women owned businesses are struggling according to study...
Aimee Cobabe

New survey suggests women who own businesses are struggling

A new survey found that a majority of women-owned businesses in Utah say the biggest challenges come from balancing life and gender barriers.
14 hours ago
A Bountiful police vehicle is pictured in Bountiful on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Kristin Murphy/Des...
Samantha Herrera

13 year old hospitalized after being run over in Bountiful

A 13-year-old was sent to the hospital with a collapsed lung and broken ribs after he was run over while crossing a crosswalk in Bountiful.
14 hours ago
An apartment building under construction, the UHPF helps provide affordable housing in Utah...
Elizabeth Weiler

$10 million donated to the Utah Housing Preservation Fund

The Utah Housing Preservation Fund just received a multi-million dollar donation from a bank making more affordable housing in Utah.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Utah lawmakers consider changes to stalking laws