Welcome to the Stalking Resource Center

The mission of the Stalking Resource Center is to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking.

Rhode Island

This page lists the most applicable state crimes addressing stalking. However, depending on the facts of the case, a stalker might also be charged with other crimes, such as trespassing, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, etc. Check your state code or consult with your local prosecutor about other charges that might apply in a particular case.

Stalking

Also See: Rhode Island Civil Stalking Law

Analyzing Stalking Laws


Stalking

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-15-1. Definitions. (2006)
The following words as used in this chapter have the following meanings:

(1)  "Courts" means the family court.

(2)  "Domestic abuse" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between present or former family members, parents, stepparents, or persons who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year in which at least one of the persons is a minor:

(i) Attempting to cause or causingphysical harm;

(ii) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; or

(iii) Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress.

(iv) Stalking or cyberstalking.

(3) "Parents" mean persons who together are the legal parents of one or more children, regardless of their marital status or whether they have lived together at any time.

(4) "Present or former family member" means the spouse, former spouse, minor children, stepchildren, or persons who are related by blood or marriage.

(5) "Substantive dating" or "engagement relationship" means a significant and personal/intimate relationship which shall be adjudged by the court's consideration by the following factors:

(i) The length of time of the relationship;

(ii) The type of relationship; and

(iii) The frequency of interaction between the parties.

(6) "Stalking" means harassing another person or willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury;

(7) "Cyberstalking" means transmitting any communication by computer to any person or causing any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family;

(8) "Harassing" means following a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person with the intent to seriously alarm, annoy, or bother the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury;

(9) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-59-2. Stalking prohibited. (2002)
(a) Any person who: (1) harasses another person; or (2) willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury, is guilty of the crime of stalking.

(b)  Stalking shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000), or both.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-52-4.2. Cyberstalkingand cyberharassment prohibited. (2008)
(a) Whoever transmits any communication by computer or other electronic device to any person or causes any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($ 500), by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. For the purpose of this section, "harassing" means any knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or bothers the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be of a kind that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury. "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."

(b)  A second or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, by a fine of not more than six thousand dollars ($ 6,000), or both.

Back to Top