New York’s Monica Crawley stalking case is prompting lawmakers to see a crackdown on people who use computers and other high-tech gadgets to harass their terrified victims, reports the New York Daily News. After learning that the man who tormented the TV and radio commentator faces only one year in jail, Assemblyman David Townsend and Assembly GOP leader Jim Tedisco started campaigning for a tough new “Monica’s Law.”
Homeless artist Ronald Martin, 41, sent nearly 500 bizarre e-mails to the MSNBC and WABC radio host in less than a year and followed her around town. Investigators discovered that he accessed Internet sites containing Crowley’s name at least 9,000 times and had created a cybershrine to her on his laptop. Because stalking is a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is only one year, and most stalkers don’t do any jail time. The Division of Criminal Justice Services says that, of 208 suspects arrested for stalking in the city in 2005, only 73 were convicted – and just 15 were put behind bars. Under the proposed law, a predator who uses a computer, caller ID or other technology to stalk someone could go to prison for up to four years.