Washington

Population

7,170,351

Population 0‑18

22.5%

Internet Users

80.9%

Home Internet Subscribers

85.1%
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2006 – Washington opened two online-schools that allowed students to take classes from the comfort of their own home. The enrollment rate was many times greater than anticipating, resulting in many students not being accepted into the online schools. The executive director of one of the schools, however, noted that online schools are not for everyone. Many students will do far better in actual schools, yet there is a small percentage of students that are better fit for online schooling.

2007 – Washington updated its anti-bullying policy for schools to include bullying, intimidation and harassment conducted via electronic means. Schools are required to adopt a policy which emphasizes desirable character traits, prohibits bullying, harassment or intimidation which emphasizes the requirement on students to comply with such a policy. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has (as required by law under RCW 28A.300.285) developed a model policy which is available on the Washington State School Safety Center website. The same section of the site also deals with Internet safety, providing links to an Internet safety brochure in a variety of languages.

2010 – The Office of Governors, with the help of other agency representatives, created the [Guidelines and Best Practices for Social Media Use to guide and encourage agencies to use social media in an effective way. Because social media is always evolving, these guidelines explain how to engage Washington state citizens and how to understand other ways to utilize this tactic.

2011 – One of the components of the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) described in Washington’s Educational Technology Learning Standards from December 2008 is Digital Citizenship.11 Students are required to be able to practice safe, legal and ethical behavior in the use of modern technologies. From as early as kindergarten, pupils will learn to recognize the danger in using personal information online and be able to comply with the school’s Acceptable Use Policy. From Grade 3, students are expected to recognize cyberbullying and follow reporting procedures, whilst the ability to counteract it is required from Grade 6.

2012 – The OSPI provides links to three Internet safety organizations offering curricula which are suitable to be taught in K12 schools. Usefully, the same page of the website site also asks schools whether they have an acceptable use policy for the Internet and provides them with some resources to create one and information on what should be included.

As children prepared to return to school after the summer 2012 vacation, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan sent Internet safety information to school administrators across the state with the aim that the tips would be distributed to students and their families. One Seattle school stated that the safety tips would be sent home with students in their packs of first-day information, reaching nearly 500 children and their families.

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.

Washington State uses a complex grid system for determining sentence duration, detailed in RCW 9.94A.510. Criteria taken into account are the seriousness of the crime and an offender score, affected by prior convictions and weighting for certain offenses such as crimes against children. RCW 9.94A.525 contains details of how the offender score is determined. The full text of the Revised Code of Washington can be found here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx

  • Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.61.260. Cyberstalking. This section states that anyone who, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person, makes an electronic communication to such other person or a third party: anonymously or repeatedly; using any indecent, lewd, lascivious or obscene words, images or language; or threatening to inflict injury on the victim, one of their family members or his/her property commits an offense. Cyberstalking is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for six months in the county jail or a fine of up to $500. The offense will be increased to a Class C felony if either of the following applies: the offender has previously been convicted of harassment (RCW 9A.46.060) with the same victim or a member of the victim’s family; the offender threatened to kill the victim or any other person.
  • RCW 9.68.060. “Erotic Material” – Determination by Court – Labeling – Penalties. This section states that the sale, distribution or exhibition of erotic material to a minor under the age of eighteen is unlawful. It is deemed to be a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to six months in the county jail or a fine of up to $500 for a first offense. A second offense is deemed to be a gross misdemeanor and carries a term of imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to $1,000. All subsequent offenses are categorized as a Class B felony and are punishable by a prison sentence of up to a year or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • RCW 9.68.130. “Sexually explicit material” – Defined – Unlawful Display. Defines the offense of exhibiting sexually explicit material on a viewing screen that is easily visible from a public thoroughfare, park or playground or from a family dwelling. Any violation of this section is misdemeanor.
  • RCW 9.68.140. Promoting Pornography – Class C Felony – Penalties. States that anyone who sells, exhibits, displays, or produces any lewd matter is guilty of promoting pornography. This is deemed to be a Class C felony offense. When sentencing, the court must take into account the willfulness of the defendant’s behavior and any profits made from the felony. Any fines gathered under this section are paid into the general treasury of the state.
  • RCW 9.68A.040. Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – Elements of Crime – Penalty. This section states that it is unlawful for a person to compel a minor by threat or force to engage in sexually explicit conduct, knowing that such conduct will be photographed or is part of a live performance. Also covered in the section is the employment or invitation of a minor to participate in such conduct. This is a Class B felony offense, punishable by a term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.
  • RCW 9.68A.050. Dealing in Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. Defines the offense of dealing in depictions of a minor in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree as to develop, duplicate, publish, exchange, disseminate, finance or sell any material that depicts a minor engaged in either of the following: sexual intercourse, penetration of the vagina or anus with an object, masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, or defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation. Possession of material with intent to commit this offense is also covered. The punishment for this Class B felony is a term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both. The section also states that a person is guilty of this offense in the second degree when they knowingly develop, duplicate, publish, print, disseminate, exchange or sell any matter that depicts the genitals or unclothed pubic or rectal area of a minor or a female minor’s breasts, or the touching of such area, whether clothed or unclothed. Possession of material with intent to commit this offense is also covered. The penalty for this Class C felony is imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • RCW 9.68A.060. Sending, Bringing into State Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. States that it is a Class B felony to send or bring into the state any visual or printed matter that depicts a minor engaged in sexually explicit of one of the following natures: sexual intercourse, penetration of the vagina or anus with an object, masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, or defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation. The punishment for this offense is a term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both. The section also states that a person is guilty of this offense in the second degree when they send or bring into the state any visual or printed matter that depicts the genitals or unclothed pubic or rectal area of a minor or a female minor’s breasts, or the touching of such area, whether clothed or unclothed. The penalty for this Class C felony is a term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9.68A.070. Possession of Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. This section states that anyone who knowingly possesses any material that shows a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct of one of the following natures is guilty of a Class B felony: sexual intercourse, penetration of the vagina or anus with an object, masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, or defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation. It is also an offense to possess such material with intent to distribute. The offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both. The section also states that a person is guilty of this offense in the second degree if he/she possesses any material that depicts the genitals or unclothed pubic or rectal area of a minor or a female minor’s breasts, or the touching of such area, whether clothed or unclothed. Possession with intent to distribute is also covered. This is a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9.68A.075. Viewing Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. States that anyone who intentionally views over the Internet any visual or printed matter depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct of one of the following natures is guilty of a Class B felony: sexual intercourse, penetration of the vagina or anus with an object, masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, or defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation. The offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both. Viewing of material that depicts the genitals or unclothed pubic or rectal area of a minor or a female minor’s breasts, or the touching of such area, whether clothed or unclothed, is deemed to be a Class C felony. This carries a penalty of imprisonment for five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. When determining whether the viewing was intentional, the trier shall consider the Internet history, search terms, thumbnail images, downloading activity, number of visual or printed matter, and the defendant’s access to and control over the electronic device and its contents. Each separate Internet session of viewing a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct constitutes a separate offense.
  • RCW 9.68A.080. Reporting of Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct — Civil Immunity. This section states that any person who processes or produces visual or printed matter either privately or commercially has a duty to report any content suspected to contain depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct immediately to law enforcement. Failure to do so is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. The section also covers computer technicians who modify, maintain or repair computer systems, either privately or commercially. They may report any findings which breach this section to law enforcement. Those who report such content are rendered immune from civil liability resulting from the report.
  • RCW 9.68A.090. Communication with Minor for Immoral Purposes – Penalties. States that it is unlawful to communicate with a child under eighteen for immoral purposes. This is a gross misdemeanor for a first offense, punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. If the communication with the minor has taken place through the sending of electronic communication, or if the offender has previously been convicted of an offense under this section or of a felony sexual offense under chapter 9.68A, 9A.44, or 9A.64 RCW or of any other felony sexual offense in this or any other state, it is upgraded to a Class C felony. The punishment for this offense is a term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9.68A.100. Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor – Penalties. Defines the offense as paying a fee to a minor or a third person as compensation for a minor having engaged in sexual conduct with the offender. The definition also covers paying a fee pursuant to an understanding that the minor will engage in sexual conduct with the offender, and soliciting, offering or requesting to engage in such conduct with a minor in return for a fee. This is deemed to be a Class B felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both. In addition, upon sentencing, the court must impose a requirement that the offender must not subsequently be arrested for patronizing a prostitute or juvenile prostitute and remain outside the geographical area, prescribed by the court, in which the person was arrested for the violation unless it interferes with their employment or residence. If a motor vehicle was used in the commission of the crime it is subject to seizure by law enforcement. Impound and towing fees must be paid before the vehicle can be reclaimed.
  • RCW 9.68A.101. Promoting Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor – Penalty. States that a person is guilty of a crime under this section if they knowingly advance commercial sexual abuse of a minor or profit from a minor engaged in sexual conduct. This is a Class A felony offense, punishable by life imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
  • RCW 9.68A.102. Promoting Travel for Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor – Penalty. States that anyone who sells or offers to sell travel services that include travel for the purpose of engaging in what would be commercial sexual abuse within the state commits a Class C felony. The punishment for this offense is a term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9.68A.103. Permitting Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor – Penalty. Defines the offense as having possession or control of premises that they know are being used for the purpose of commercial sexual abuse of a minor, without making an effort to prevent such abuses. This is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
  • RCW 9.68A.150. Allowing Minor on Premises of Live Erotic Performance – Definitions – Penalty. States that it is a gross misdemeanor for a person to allow a minor to be on the premises of a commercial establishment where there is a live performance containing erotic material. This is punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.40.090. Luring. This section states that it is a criminal offense to lure a minor, with the intent to harm the health, safety or welfare of the minor, into an area or structure that is obscured from or inaccessible to the public or into a motor vehicle. This is a Class C felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RWC 9A.40.100. Trafficking. Defines the offense of trafficking in the first degree as to recruit, harbor, transfer, obtain, transport, provide or receive by any means any person, knowing that coercion, fraud or force will be used to cause the victim to engage in a commercial sexual act, forced labor or involuntary servitude, in any of the following circumstances: the offense involved any attempt to kidnap the victim, to find a sexual motivation, the illegal harvest of organs, or when the victim dies as a result of the offense. The receiving of financial benefits from the participation in any acts that caused the above is also included in the definition of trafficking in the first degree. This is deemed to be a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment and/or a fine of $50,000. The section also defines trafficking in the second degree, which is the recruiting, harboring, transferring, obtaining, transporting, providing or receiving by any means of any person, knowing that coercion, fraud or force will be used to cause the victim to engage in a commercial sexual act, forced labor or involuntary servitude; benefiting financially from the above is also deemed to be trafficking in the second degree. This is also a Class A felony, punishable as above.
  • RCW 9A.44.040. Rape in the First Degree. Defines the crime of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person by way of forcible compulsion where the offender: uses a weapon or threatens to do so; kidnaps the victim; inflicts serious physical injury; breaks into the building or vehicle where the victim is located. This is deemed to be a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment, a fine of $50,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.050. Rape in the Second Degree. States that a person is guilty of an offense under this section if they engage in sexual intercourse with a victim without their consent by forcible compulsion; when the victim is incapable of consent due to being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated; when the victim is developmentally disabled. This is deemed to be a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment, a fine of $50,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.060. Rape in the Third Degree. Defines the offense as engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. This is a Class C felony offense, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of $10,000.
  • RCW 9A.44.073. Rape of a Child in the First Degree. The section defines the crime of a person, aged at least 24 months older than the victim, having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of twelve. This is deemed to be a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment, a fine of $50,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.076. Rape of a Child in the Second Degree. The section defines the crime of a person, aged at least 36 months older than the victim, having sexual intercourse with a child over the age of twelve but younger than fourteen. This is deemed to be a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment and/or a fine of to $50,000.
  • RCW 9A.44.079. Rape of a Child in the Third Degree. The section defines the crime of a person, aged at least 48 months older than the victim, having sexual intercourse with a child over the age of fourteen but younger than sixteen. This is deemed to be a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of $10,000, or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.083. Child Molestation in the First Degree. Defines the offense of a person who is at least 36 months older, having (or causing someone under the age of eighteen to have) sexual contact with a child under the age of twelve. This is deemed to be a Class A felony, punishable by life imprisonment, a fine of $50,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.086. Child Molestation in the Second Degree. Defines the offense of a person who is at least 36 months older, having (or causing someone under the age of eighteen to have) sexual contact with a child over the age of twelve but younger than fourteen. This is deemed to be a Class B felony, punishable by imprisonment for a term of ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.089. Child Molestation in the Third Degree. Defines the offense of a person who is at least 48 months older, having (or causing someone under the age of eighteen to have) sexual contact with a child who is aged over fourteen but younger than sixteen. This is deemed to be a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.093. Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the First Degree. The crime is defined as when a person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual intercourse with a child of or over the age of sixteen but under eighteen. It is also stipulated that the perpetrator is at least sixty months older than the victim, is in a significant relationship to the victim, and abuses a supervisory position within that relationship in order to engage in or cause another person under the age of eighteen to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim. The section also applies when the person is a school employee who has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual intercourse with an enrolled student of the school who is over sixteen years old and under 21 years old, if the employee is at least sixty months older than the student. This is deemed to be a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.096. Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the Second Degree. The crime is defined as when a person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with a child aged of or over sixteen but under eighteen. It is also stipulated that the perpetrator is at least sixty months older than the victim, is in a significant relationship to the victim, and abuses a supervisory position within that relationship in order to engage in or cause another person under the age of eighteen to engage in sexual contact with the victim. The section also applies when the person is a school employee who has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with an enrolled student of the school who is over sixteen years old and under 21 years old, if the employee is at least sixty months older than the student. This is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.115. Voyeurism. This is defined as when a person, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, knowingly views, photographs, or films another person without that person’s knowledge and consent while the person being viewed, photographed, or filmed is in a place where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The section also covers the viewing, filming or photographing the intimate areas of another person without that person’s knowledge and consent and under circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether in a public or private place. This is deemed to be a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.44.196. Criminal Trespass against Children. This section states that those who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses against children are prohibited from entering certain covered entities, such as swimming pools. This is deemed to be a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.46.020. Definition of Harassment – Penalties. States that a person is guilty of an offense under this section if they threaten to cause bodily injury or damage to the property of another person, including through the use of electronic communication. This is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. If the offender has a prior conviction under this section, has made threats to kill or is in breach of a court order, the offense is upgraded to a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.46.110. Stalking. States that it is a crime for a person to intentionally and repeatedly harass or repeatedly follow another person with the intent to cause fear or to intimidate the victim. This is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. If the offender has a prior conviction under this section or for harassment, was carrying a deadly weapon or is in breach of a court order, the offense is upgraded to a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 9A.88.010. Indecent Exposure. States that it is defined as a crime for a person to make an open and obscene exposure of one’s person knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm. This is a misdemeanor for a first offense, punishable by a term of imprisonment in the county jail of up to 90 days, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. If the victim was under the age of fourteen at the time of the offense, the crime is classified as a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. A second or subsequent conviction under this section is deemed to be a Class C felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
  • RCW 28A.300.285. Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Prevention Policies and Procedures — Model Policy and Procedure — Training Materials — Posting on Web Site — Rules — Advisory Committee. This section states that by August 2011, each school district has to have adopted a policy and procedures that prohibit harassment, intimidation and bullying of students. The definition of harassment and bullying includes electronic acts which interfere with a student’s education, create an intimidating educational environment, or disrupt the orderly operation of the school.