New Mexico Sexual Harassment Policies
Harassment can rarely be considered innocent, or simply by chance. This form of behavior frequently is considered in the same category of stalking, and often those arrested for criminal sexual harassment are also charged with stalking.
New Mexico is one of the few states to have harassment laws in addition to stalking laws. Under statute Section 30-3A-2, harassment is knowingly pursuing a pattern of conduct specifically done to annoy, terrorize, or verbally abuse a victim for no legal purpose. If the victim suffers emotional distress, the accused could be charged with a misdemeanor, or felony, depending on the severity of the charges.
Crimes of stalking and sexual harassment for New Mexico STATUTE, §30-3A-2, OVERVIEW:
Under §30-3A-2, harassment is a legal misdemeanor. Note, however, that the act of harassing someone can form the basis of stalking, which can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Despite the misdemeanor status of harassment, it constitutes a serious offense.
As provided in §30-3A-2, harassment consists of:
- A person (defendant) knowingly pursuing a pattern of unwelcome conduct
- A pattern of consistent conduct intended to annoy, seriously alarm or verbally threaten another person
- The pattern of conduct serves no lawful purpose
- The conduct must be such that it would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress.
Key Points to Consider . . .
Considering both §30-3A-2 and UJI 14-330, some of the critical matters to keep in mind in harassment cases include:
- Since behavior is a misdemeanor offense, the magistrate and metropolitan courts can preside over these cases, as can the district courts.
- Harassment must include a pattern of conduct, rather than an isolated, single event.
- The pattern of conduct must be knowingly and maliciously pursued by the defendant
- The most frequent definition for stalking is simply the unwanted pursuit of, and contact toward, another person. New Mexico defines stalking as a pattern of conduct intended to place an individual in reasonable apprehension of death, bodily harm, or confinement. This behavior can include negative threats monitoring, simple threatening, or communicating to or about in abusive tones person. New Mexico also has enhanced penalties for stalkers who violate restraining orders, use a deadly weapon or target victims under the age of 16. Protective orders can help punish stalkers and protect stalking victims, many of whom were previously in romantical relationships with their stalkers.
HARASSMENT & STALKING ARE LEGALLY OFTEN LINKED . . . .
Harassment and stalking charges are frequently seen as interrelated. If someone is arrested for one, they could be accused of both, depending on the severity of actions. Both are governed by separate statutes. In fact, stalking falls under New Mexico Statutes Section 30-3A-3.
In this statute, stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior that causes the victim to feel frightened, intimidated or threatened. Stalking is often treated more seriously than harassment since a stalker intends to cause apprehension to their victim, by repeated conduct of an unwelcome nature, over and over.
Stalking can also graduate to the more serious charge of aggravated stalking. Aggravated stalking involves the violation of a restraining order, or stalking someone with the use of a deadly weapon.
Stalking is generally treated as a misdemeanor, and the offender will submit to professional counseling. However, aggravated stalking is enhanced to a 4th-degree felony.
ARE CYBER-BULLYING AND SExual HARASSMENT THE SAME?
Harassment and cyber–bullying are both generally considered similar to stalking. Harassment can occur over electronic devices, such as a media, phone, or computer. When someone uses these devices to communicate threats, even if they are anonymous, they could be found guilty, of both charges.
Harassment by social networking is quite common, especially on dating sites, & among teenagers, or college students. Despite the young age of these individuals, they could still be charged with harassment and cyber–bullying.
The new harassment laws for the state also apply to cyber-bullying. After two highly publicized teen deaths that occurred from bullying, the state responded to public demand for harsher penalties for such offenses. For a person to be guilty of harassment, their actions must include the following.
- Directing bullying at a minor
- Repeating these acts over and over
- Creating unwanted verbal, physical, and harmful contact
- Creating behavior that negatively affects the victim’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being
For the misdemeanor offense, the accused could be required to pay a penalty of up to $1,000 and spend up to one year in jail, or both depending on the circumstances.
If your company needs sexual harassment or harassment training in New Mexico, click here to see Employee Harassment Training’s New Mexico trainers.
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