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Tweeting Texan First to Be Charged With Web Harassment Under New Law

San Antonio man accused of online harassment.A San Antonio man could become the first Texan prosecuted under a new state law protecting people against online harassment. According to The San Antonio Express-News, Mike Lavender, a former sports announcer, was recently charged with one count of online harassment for using a fake Twitter account to bother a 33-year-old reporter. He alleged via Twitter that the unnamed woman was having an affair with a married man and called her a "homewrecker," among other things. The woman told local authorities, who subpoenaed the Twitter account's IP address, which led them to Lavender's computer. The woman only wants a public apology, but if prosecuted, Lavender could face a year in jail and a $4,000 fine for his crime.

However, history might be on his side. In October 2009 and January 2010, online harassment cases in Texas were dismissed after not meeting certain elements of the state's law. Adriana Biggs, who works in the district attorney's office, told the Express-News that Lavender's case might go to grand jury but she could not confirm it. Expect the ball to keep rolling. After all, Texans aren't ones to shy away from bringing their brand of justice to the Internet.

Tags: crime, harassment, mike lavender, MikeLavender, online harassment, OnlineHarassment, SanAntonio, top, twitter

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