Representative Cody Henson of North Carolina's Transylvania County has been formally charged with cyberstalking his wife, Kelsey. The couple is currently estranged.
Mrs. Henson presented the domestic court judge with a plethora of text messages that were supposedly from her spouse. The judge agreed that they constituted mental harassment. In response, he first issued a long-term protective order against the state lawmaker and then referred the case over to criminal court. A second judge then issued a summons charging Representative Henson with cyberstalking.
Cyberstalking is specifically illegal under North Carolina's laws. Cyberstalking is generally considered a growing problem throughout the nation -- one of the unintentional consequences of the technological age in which we live.
Cyberstalking generally involves using email, the internet or any other form of electronic device to repeatedly contact someone in a threatening, malicious or harmful way. Examples can include:
- Someone calling you repeatedly even though you asked them to stop
- Someone repeatedly emailing you, especially in a threatening way
- Someone texting you or otherwise leaving you obscene, threatening or harassing messages
- Someone haunting your social media accounts and leaving messages for you on your posts or tagging you in posts after you've asked them to stop or tried to block them
Often, cyberstalkers will go out of their way to harass or intimidate a victim. For example, if you block a cyberstalker's phone number, he or she might use other people's phones or "burner" phones to get around your block. If you block your cyberstalker on Facebook or Snapchat, he or she might create fake accounts under assumed names to continue leaving you messages.
Despite calls for his resignation from office, Representative Henson denies the allegations and has declined to step down. Incidents like this illustrate how domestic violence -- in many forms -- can affect anyone in any level of society. If you're being victimized by a cyberstalking partner, a family law attorney may be able to help.