Possible Change In Stalking Laws

Casper, Wyoming - Lawmakers have developed a bill that could drastically change hoe police and judges view stalking crimes. The bill, in its second round of development could see discussion time in the 2018 legislative session. K2's David Furtado reports.

After a Casper woman's sister was killed by her stalker in Colorado, she began demanding change in the Colorado laws.

“And so she was able to get some stalking laws changed Colorado,” said Taylor Courtney with Natrona County Sheriff's Office.

But now Vicky Cadlick is fighting for a change in Wyoming's stalking laws, too. In the past year nearly 300 stalking cases were reported in Wyoming. That's not counting the cases that go unreported.

‘And a lot of time stalking violations can escalate to assault and even death,” said Sen. Bill Landen.

After researching what she's calling outdated laws. She decided to take her concerns to local lawmakers.

“She worked with a bunch of different people in the community and they actually presented some changes to in the form of a bill,” said Courtney.

That bill. Senate file 84.

“As good as we thought that bill was, it simply did not pass,” said Sen. Landen.

But they didn't give up. They continued working on the bill, and it's heading to the 2018 legislative session. If the bill passes, it will increase the maximum punishments for misdemeanors from 6 months to a year and on the felony side from 5 years to 10.

“The people behind these cases are real people with real emotions. And this has a massive effect on their life. I want them to personalize with this issue and understand that these changes are for the better,” said Courtney.

The definition will also expand on emotional distress making it easier for victims to gain justice. However the bill is still facing challenges.

“In this upcoming session is that it's a budget session. And that's going to take a two thirds vote just to introduce any legislation,” said Sen. Landen.

The 2018 budget session begins February 12th.

Original Air Date: 12/13/17