Louisiana

Population

4,670,724

Population 0‑18

24.7%

Internet Users

74.9%
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2008 - SB500 (creating LA RS 17:280) was signed into law, requiring that all schools must teach Internet safety to students from the 3rd Grade onwards. The Department of Education is required, under the same section, to provide Internet safety information to parents. Despite the ruling, obtaining Internet safety information from the Department’s website is not easily achieved. A search of the website sees that ‘netiquette’ is covered within the Pre-K12 Educational Technology Standards.

2009 - At a district level there is information available for parents and sometimes for students as well. The website for Livingstone Parish is a good example, with links to safe sites for children and a section for parents to educate themselves about the issues. Another excellent example is the Vermilion Parish Public School’s V.O.I.S.E. (Vision of Outstanding Internet Safety Education) initiative.8 A website solely dedicated to the topic of online safety contains a wealth of links for students, teachers and parents, but also hosts original content such as lesson plans and activities designed for use in the classroom by Vermilion Parish teachers.

2009 - Former Louisiana State Superintendent of Public Education, Paul Pastorek, was recognized by the Internet KeepSafe Coalition for his efforts to keep Louisiana’s children safe online. A partnership was also launched between iKeepSafe, Cisco and Woogie to provide all Elementary schools in the state with Internet safety resources, including books, DVDs and activity sheets.

2014 - The Department of Education put into practice the “Technology Footprint,” in which the school system can test the digital readiness of each parish.

2016 - The Department of Education released a standard for teachers to promote digital literacy within the classroom. This guide equips teachers with A model on how to get both student and teacher digitally literate.

This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

The legal system in Louisiana is based on the French model: that is to say instead of having judge-made law as is evident in most other states, Louisiana relies on a system of codes. The major difference between Louisiana and the other states is that where the other states are bound by the decisions of higher courts within their system, Louisiana courts are not. Areas such as property, family law and civil procedure are still modeled very closely on the Romanic system; other areas though have been heavily influenced by the common system of the other states.

  • Louisiana Revised Statutes (LA RS) 14:40.2. Stalking. The crime is defined as the intentional and repeated following of a person, which would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed or to suffer emotional distress. The penalty for this crime is not less than 30 days or more than one year’s imprisonment. Where the victim is under eighteen years of age, the penalty is two to five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of between $1,000 to $2,000. Where the offender is thirteen or over and the victim is twelve or younger and is placed in fear of death or bodily injury the term of imprisonment is for between one and three years, with or without hard labor, and/or a fine of between $1,500 to $5,000.

  • LA RS 14:40.3. Cyberstalking. The offense is defined as using electronic methods of communication to threaten, harass or give reason to believe that bodily harm will be inflicted upon that person or their immediate family. It also covers false statements made about the death or illness of a party made with the intention to terrify. The sentence for this is not more than one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000. A second conviction within seven years carries a penalty of imprisonment for between 180 days to three years and/or a fine of up to $5,000; a third conviction occurring within seven years renders the offender liable for two to five years’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.

  • LA RS 14:40.7. Cyberbullying. Defines the offense as to transmit any electronic communication with willful and malicious intent to coerce, abuse, intimidate or torment another person under the age of eighteen. The penalty is a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to six months, or both. Where the offender is under the age of seventeen, Title VII of the Children’s Code shall apply instead (see below).

  • LA RS 14:42. Aggravated Rape. States that anyone who rapes a child under the age of thirteen is guilty of aggravated rape. The punishment for this is life imprisonment with hard labor. However, the District Attorney may seek a capital punishment for this offense if the crime is considered particularly heinous.

  • LA RS 14:43.1. Sexual Battery. States that this criminal act entails the intentional touching, without consent or where the other person is not yet fifteen and is at least three years younger than the offender, of a person’s anus or genitals. The sentence for this offense is not more than ten years’ imprisonment, with or without hard labor. Where the offender is over seventeen and the victim is under thirteen, the minimum term of imprisonment is 25 years and the maximum is 99 years.

  • LA RS 14:43.2. Second Degree Sexual Battery. This section states that it is an offense to engage in the touching of another person’s anus or genitals where the offender intentionally inflicts serious bodily harm upon the victim. The maximum sentence for this offense is fifteen years’ imprisonment, with or without hard labor. Where the offender is over seventeen and the victim is less than thirteen the sentences range from 25 to 99 years’ imprisonment.

  • LA RS 14:43.3. Oral Sexual Battery. The crime is defined as the touching of the genitals or anus of either the victim or the offender with the mouth or tongue of either party when the victim is not fifteen and is at least three years younger than the offender. The maximum sentence is ten years’ imprisonment, with or without hard labor. However, where the offender is over seventeen years of age and the victim is less than thirteen the sentence range is between 25 and 99 years.

  • LA RS RS 14:46.3. Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes. This section states that it is an offense to recruit, harbor, transport, provide, sell, purchase, or obtain a minor under the age of eighteen years for the purpose of engaging in commercial sexual activity. It is also an offense to knowingly benefit from the above, or facilitate such an offense. The offender will be liable to imprisonment with hard labor for between fifteen to 50 years, and/or a fine of up to £50,000. Where the victim is under the age of fourteen the sentence is increased to $75,000 and/or imprisonment for 25 to 50 years.

  • LA RS 14:73.8. Unauthorized Use of a Wireless Router System; Pornography Involving Juveniles; Penalty. States that anyone who uses a wireless router system without authorization to access juvenile pornography (as defined in LA RS 14:81.1) will be liable to imprisonment with hard labor for two to ten years, and a fine of up to $10,000. Where the victim is under the age of thirteen and the offender is aged seventeen or above, the penalty will be increased to 25 to 99 years’ imprisonment.

  • LA RS 14:73.9. Criminal Use of Internet, Virtual, Street-Map; Enhanced Penalties. States that where an online street-level map is used to facilitate the commission of a criminal offense against a person or property, an additional sentence of imprisonment for a minimum of one year will apply.

  • LA RS 14:80. Felony Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile. States that it is an offense for a person who is seventeen years or older to have consensual sexual intercourse with a person over the age of thirteen but less than seventeen, being more than four years younger than the offender. The maximum sentence is ten years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

  • LA RS 14:80.1. Misdemeanor Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile. This differs from the felony charge in that the age difference between the parties is more than two years but less than four years. The sentence for this is a maximum of six months’ imprisonment.

  • LA RS 14:81. Indecent Behavior with Juveniles. This section criminalizes the following acts with juveniles among others: any lewd or lascivious act in the presence of a child under seventeen; the transmission of any visual or written communication depicting lewd or lascivious acts to a child under seventeen or at least two years younger than the offender. The maximum term of imprisonment is seven years, with or without hard labor, and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Where the victim is less than thirteen and the offender is over seventeen then the sentence is between two and 25 years’ imprisonment with hard labor.

  • LA RS 14:81.1. Pornography Involving Juveniles. This section criminalizes the following actions: production, distribution or possession of material displaying sexual conduct by a child, or consent of a parent to the sexual performance of any child under the age of seventeen. Possession of more than three units of the same image is deemed as intent to distribute. Intentional possession of juvenile pornography is punishable by imprisonment with hard labor for two to ten years plus a fine of up to $10,000; distribution or possession with intent to distribute is punishable by imprisonment with hard labor for five to ten years. Where the victim is under the age of thirteen and the offender is seventeen years or older, the punishment will be increased to imprisonment for between one-half of the longest term to no more than twice the longest term originally prescribed. The section also states that it is an offense to engage in the production of juvenile pornography, which renders the offender liable to a maximum fine of $15,000 and imprisonment with hard labor for ten to 20 years. Where the victim is under the age of thirteen and was solicited to take part in such conduct by a person over seventeen the sentences range from 25 to 99 years’ imprisonment.

  • LA RS 14:81.1.1. Sexting; Prohibited Acts; Penalties. This section states that any juvenile under the age of seventeen is prohibited from transmitting an indecent image of himself/herself or another person via a computer or other telecommunications device. Any such offense will be governed by Title VII of the Louisiana Children’s Code. The section further states that the possession or forwarding of an indecent image received via electronic means is also an offense. A first offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten days, and/or a fine of up to $100. A second offense sees the fine increase to $250 and/or imprisonment for ten to 30 days. Any subsequent offense is punishable by imprisonment for 30 days to six months and/or a fine between $500 to $750.

  • LA RS 14:81.2. Molestation of a Juvenile or a Person with a Physical or Mental Disability. States, among other things, that the commission of a lewd and lascivious act by anyone over the age of seventeen on, or in the presence of, a child with whom there is an age difference greater than two years is an offense. The intent must be to arouse or gratifying the sexual desires of either person, and the offender must have used force, violence, duress, threat of bodily harm, menace, or psychological intimidation. The offender faces between five and ten years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000. The penalty increases to not more than 20 years when the person had control or supervision over the victim and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Where the victim is less than thirteen the sentence ranges from 25 to 99 years’ imprisonment with hard labor.

  • LA RS 14:81.3. Computer-aided Solicitation of a Minor. Decrees that it is a crime for a person over the age of seventeen to contact someone under seventeen and more than two years younger than them by way of electronic textual communication for the purpose of inducing or coercing that person to engage in sexual conduct. It is also an offense to establish such contact with intent to arrange for a third person to engage in sexual conduct with the minor. It is sufficient cause for a charge under this section even if only the initial contact was made by electronic textual communication and the remainder of the communication was made through different means. Where the child is under thirteen the sentence ranges from ten to 20 years’ imprisonment with hard labor and a fine of up to $10,000, were the child is over thirteen but under seventeen the prison sentence is reduced to five to ten years. The section also states that were the solicitation results in actual sexual conduct between the offender and victim and the difference between the age of the victim and the age of the offender is five years or greater, the offender will be liable to seven to ten years’ imprisonment and be fined not more than $10,000. Any subsequent conviction under this section render the offender liable to ten to 20 years’ imprisonment with hard labor. The court may also impose restrictions as to Internet access upon release.

  • LA RS 14:89.1. Aggravated Crime Against Nature. States, among other things, that any person who, being at least three years older than the minor, has anal intercourse with a minor under the age of seventeen, is liable to imprisonment with hard labor for three to fifteen years.

  • LA RS 14:91.2. Unlawful Presence of a Sex Offender. States, among other things, that a convicted sex offender may not be present within 1,000 feet of school property or a public park. The maximum sentence for a violation is one year’s imprisonment.

  • LA RS 14:91.5. Unlawful Use or Access of Social Media. This section states that any registered sex offender previously convicted of indecent behavior with juveniles (LA RS 14:81), pornography involving juveniles (LA RS 14:81.1), computer-aided solicitation of a minor (LA RS 14:81.3), video voyeurism (LA RS 14:283) or a sex offense as defined in LA RS 15:541 in which the victim was a minor, is prohibited from using or accessing any social networking websites or chat rooms. This also applies to sex offenders convicted in another state. Anyone charged under this section will be liable to up to ten years’ imprisonment with hard labor and a maximum fine of $10,000; any subsequent offenses render the sex offender liable to five to 20 years’ imprisonment with hard labor and a fine of up to $20,000.

  • LA RS 14:91.11. Sale, Exhibition, or Distribution of Material Harmful to Minors. States that it is an offense for someone other than the parent, to sell, rent, distribute or display (amongst others) any material that is harmful to minors. This includes content containing descriptions of depictions of illicit sex or sexual immorality deemed to be harmful by the trier of fact. The maximum sentence for this is one year’s imprisonment.

  • LA RS 14:106. Obscenity. Defines as an offense the intentional exposure of the genitals, pubic hair, anus, vulva, or female breast nipples in any public place with the intent of arousing sexual desire. Or the engagement in any hard core sexual conduct or behavior that the trier of fact deems to appeal to the prurient interest. The sentences range from six months’ to three years’ imprisonment.

  • LA RS 15:545.1. Duty of Interactive Computer Service. Upon request from a law enforcement agency, the interactive computer service shall take all steps necessary to preserve records and other evidence in its possession that relates to sex offenses. Such records shall be kept for 90 days. There is also a duty upon interactive computer services to make a report of any evidence which points to the possession, distribution or creation of images containing child pornography or prohibited sexual activity involving a child.

  • LA RS 17:100.7. Policies; Governing Authorities of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools; Internet and Online Sites; Access by Students and Employees; Exceptions. States that each governing authority of a primary or secondary school has to adopt policies regarding access to websites containing or making reference to harmful or obscene material, or websites containing child pornography. Furthermore, the policies have to include provisions concerning the blocking of such websites.

  • LA RS 17:280. Internet Safety Education; Required Course. States that from the Third Grade onwards all public schools must provide instruction for children on Internet safety and that the Department of Education will provide schools with materials for parents regarding child Internet safety.

  • LA RS 17:416.13. Student Code of Conduct; Requirement; Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying; Prohibition; Exemptions. States that each local public school board has to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, bullying and cyberbullying of a student by another student.

  • LA RS 51:1426. Unfair Acts or Practices. This section provides for the situation where the provider of Internet services becomes aware that a subscriber lives within the State. Upon knowing this they should then make available to that person products or services which allows parents to control their child’s use of the Internet. The product should block certain sites, restrict access to designated material and allow the subscriber to monitor their child’s use of the Internet. Violation of this section is an unfair trade practice. Children’s Code Act. 730. Grounds. This section states that, among other things, a child found to have engaged in cyberbullying is grounds that a family is in need of social services.