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In Massachusetts, the crime of stalking is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 265, Section 43. This statute is summarized by the Massachusetts Criminal Jury Instructions which states

Whoever…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 makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury shall be guilty of the crime of stalking.

Jury Instruction 6.680

Such conduct can be through almost any form of communication. As stated in the Jury Instructions,

The conduct, acts or threats may be communicated by any means including, but not limited to (mail) (telephone) (facsimile transmission) (e-mail) (internet communications) (telecommunications device) (electronic instant messages) (any electronic communication device including any device that transfers [signs] [signals] [writing] [images] [sounds] [data] or [intelligence of any nature] transmitted in whole or in part by a [wire] [radio][electromagnetic system] [photo-electronic system] [photooptical system]).


The crime of stalking carries a punishment of up to 2.5 years in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

Section 43(b) of the statue imposes stricter punishment if the offense in committed while a restraining order or no-contact order already exists between the defendant and the alleged victim.