The state of Iowa’s crime of Stalking is defined in Iowa Code Section 708.11 as the crime a person commits when all of the following occur:
a. The person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family.
b. The person has knowledge or should have knowledge that the specific person will be placed in reasonable fear of bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family by the course of conduct.
c. The person’s course of conduct induces fear in the specific person of bodily injury to, or the death of, the specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family.
Some of the terms used in the definition of stalking under Iowa law are also further defined by the Iowa code as follows:
a. “Accompanying offense” means any public offense committed as part of the course of conduct engaged in while committing the offense of stalking.
b. “Course of conduct” means repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person without legitimate purpose or repeatedly conveying oral or written threats, threats implied by conduct, or a combination thereof, directed at or toward a person.
c. “Immediate family member” means a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other person who regularly resides in the household of a specific person, or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household of a specific person.
d. “Repeatedly” means on two or more occasions.
A variety of other factors can make a stalking charge more serious under Iowa law, such as the following:
- Possession of a dangerous weapon
- The existence of a civil protective order that prohibits the accused from contacting the alleged victim
- The alleged victim of stalking being under the age of 18
Stalking can be charged as a C felony in Iowa under certain conditions, which carries up to a 10 year prison term. The D felony version carries a 5 year prison term, while an Aggravated Misdemeanor conviction for stalking can carry a 2 year prison term.
A conviction for stalking in Iowa can also lead to a sex offender registration requirement, depending upon the facts of the case. That and the possible sentences make stalking a serious charge in the state of Iowa that should be handled properly.