The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Crime to Sexually Proposition, Knowing It's Likely to Annoy, Offend, or Alarm

That's the law in Delaware, it turns out.


Just came across this statute (solely through my research, I swear!); it has been around since 1985:

A person is guilty of sexual harassment [a misdemeanor] when … [t]he person suggests, solicits, requests, commands, importunes or otherwise attempts to induce another person to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse or unlawful sexual penetration with the actor, knowing that the actor is thereby likely to cause annoyance, offense or alarm to that person.

Compare the Delaware general ban on "harassment," which covers some other kinds of communications but requires an intent (i.e., "conscious object") to harass, annoy, or alarm and not mere knowledge of the likelihood that the behavior would be annoying, alarming, or offensive.