(a) A person commits stalking when he or she knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to:
(1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person; or
(2) suffer other emotional distress.
(a-3) A person commits stalking when he or she, knowingly and without lawful justification, on at least 2 separate occasions follows another person or places the person under surveillance or any combination thereof and:
(1) at any time transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person; or
(2) places that person in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to or of that person or a family member of that person.
(a-5) A person commits stalking when he or she has previously been convicted of stalking another person and knowingly and without lawful justification on one occasion:
(1) follows that same person or places that same person under surveillance; and
(2) transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to that person or a family member of that person.
(b) Sentence. Stalking is a Class 4 felony; a second or subsequent conviction is a Class 3 felony.
(c) Definitions. For purposes of this Section:
(1) “Course of conduct” means 2 or more acts, including but not limited to acts in which a defendant directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, engages in other non-consensual contact, or interferes with or damages a person’s property or pet. A course of conduct may include contact via electronic communications.
(2) “Electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writings, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system. “Electronic communication” includes transmissions by a computer through the Internet to another computer.
(3) “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering, anxiety or alarm.
(4) “Family member” means a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, or child, whether by whole blood, half-blood, or adoption and includes a step-grandparent, step-parent, step-brother, step-sister or step-child. “Family member” also means any other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the prior 6 months, regularly resided in the household.
(5) “Follows another person” means (i) to move in relative proximity to a person as that person moves from place to place or (ii) to remain in relative proximity to a person who is stationary or whose movements are confined to a small area. “Follows another person” does not include a following within the residence of the defendant.
(6) “Non-consensual contact” means any contact with the victim that is initiated or continued without the victim’s consent, including but not limited to being in the physical presence of the victim; appearing within the sight of the victim; approaching or confronting the victim in a public place or on private property; appearing at the workplace or residence of the victim; entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim; or placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
(7) “Places a person under surveillance” means: (1) remaining present outside the person’s school, place of employment, vehicle, other place occupied by the person, or residence other than the residence of the defendant; or (2) placing an electronic tracking device on the person or the person’s property.
(8) “Reasonable person” means a person in the victim’s situation.
(9) “Transmits a threat” means a verbal or written threat or a threat implied by a pattern of conduct or a combination of verbal or written statements or conduct.
(1) This Section does not apply to any individual or organization (i) monitoring or attentive to compliance with public or worker safety laws, wage and hour requirements, or other statutory requirements, or (ii) picketing occurring at the workplace that is otherwise lawful and arises out of a bona fide labor dispute, including any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits, including health and welfare, sick leave, insurance, and pension or retirement provisions, the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, and the terms to be included in those agreements.
(2) This Section does not apply to an exercise of the right to free speech or assembly that is otherwise lawful.
(3) Telecommunications carriers, commercial mobile service providers, and providers of information services, including, but not limited to, Internet service providers and hosting service providers, are not liable under this Section, except. for willful and wanton misconduct, by virtue of the transmission, storage, or caching of electronic communications or messages of others or by virtue of the provision of other related telecommunications, commercial mobile services, or information services used by others in violation of this Section.
(d-5) The incarceration of a person in a penal institution who commits the course of conduct or transmits a threat is not a bar to prosecution under this Section.
(d-10) A defendant who directed the actions of a third party to violate this Section, under the principles of accountability set forth in Article 5 of this Code, is guilty of violating this Section as if the same had been personally done by the defendant, without regard to the mental state of the third party acting at the direction of the defendant.