Craigslist Prank Leads To Felony Charge For Disgruntled Friendswood Woman

Police in Friendswood allege that 33-year-old Amanda Anderson got even with her former employer the new-fashioned way: via Craigslist.

They allege that she took out what must have been a very generous help-wanted ad for various contractors. Once it hit the 'net, Anderson's old boss was swamped with eager entreaties for work from a great many plumbers, roofers and electricians. Which must have ruined his whole day; we know we would be more than a little miffed if the same happened to us. The former employer was angry enough to phone in the bogus ad to the cops, who tracked down Anderson as the suspect.

And now she is in a major heap of shit. Under a new law that the State Legislature enacted last September, Anderson was charged with third-degree felony online harassment. If convicted, she could face two-to-ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Seems pretty stiff for what amounts to a modern-day prank call...

The felony portion of the harassment law states that a person can be charged for using the name of another person to create a Web page or to post one or more messages on a commercial social networking site without obtaining the other person's consent with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate, or threaten any person.

Local defense attorney and blogger Mark Bennett thinks the statute is "awfully broad."

"The usual legislative overreaction to a new danger," he calls it.

"With regard to the particular case, I guess they're going to argue that the 'harm' is being inundated with telephone calls," Bennett continues. "Fair enough, I suppose -- it would piss me off too -- but a third-degree felony? Steal up to $20,000, and it's only a state-jail felony."

But we did find one guy who thought the law wasn't Draconian enough on the sort of little yellow-bellied jackasses who engage in this sort of behavior:

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax