Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu (jonriki) wrote,
Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu

Remarks Entered into the Journal on H.B. 1171 Relating to Criminal Impersonation

Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
Remarks Entered into the Journal
House Bill 1171
Relating to Criminal Impersonation
Tuesday, March, 8, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support.

This bill would protect our citizens from impersonators who harass and place their victims in fear of their safety. For example, I have learned that with the popularity of the Internet, there are many people victimized by impersonation. What worries me, is that many victims are women. I read a case where a man impersonated a woman because she rejected his advances on her. He made a website pretending to be the woman and lied on how she had a sexual fantasy of being raped. Further, he placed her address and phone number on the website. As a result, men came to her residence offering to rape her. In addition, I have a friend who is also my constituent who has been a victim of an impersonator that made her out to be a prostitute and placed her personal information on a website. Consequently, a man contacted her and she feared for her safety.

The Judiciary Committee amended the bill with broader language by taking out the "intent to cause bodily injury or reckless disregard of the risk of causing bodily injury" and replacing it with "intent to deceive, and harass, annoy, or alarm another, or in reckless disregard thereof, makes or causes to be made, a likeness of that other person which the person knows to be false." This language would make it easier for victims to prosecute impersonators who not only causes potential harm to them but also deception, harassment, annoyance, and anything alarming.

As this bill moves to the Senate, I hope to see the text, "electronic transmissions" re-inserted into the bill to include impersonation being done on the Internet as well as other types of technology. Similarly, I tried to insert this language in Hawaii's harassment and stalking laws to protect people being victimized by perpetrators on the Internet and other types of technology. I will try to work on amending Hawaii's harassment stalking laws during the interim. Nonetheless, "electronic transmissions" can still be added to this bill as it moves through the legislative process.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

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