Some victims of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting are unfortunately being victimized again. This time they're being targeted by conspiracy theorists who've allegedly been harassing the victims for a variety of inane reasons.
In fact, things have gotten so bad that some victims are concerned for their health and safety, according to prosecutors.
So how bad was it? It's claimed that conspiracy theorists have posted maps, addresses, and phone numbers of victims online. People have even impersonated the victims and filed fraudulent court motions, The Associated Press reports.
It's an unfortunate reality that conspiracy theorists will come out of the woodwork following almost any tragedy or event that makes national headlines. In fact, some relatives of those killed in the Connecticut school shooting, and even one man hailed as a hero, have been harassed by those who claim the massacre was staged.
While conspiracy theorists may go over the line and annoy and even frighten the victims, you may be wondering if there is any legal action that the victims can take.
In general, repeated conduct that is meant to alarm, annoy, torment, or terrorize someone may constitute harassment. This can both support a criminal charge as well as a civil action. For example, if the harassment causes emotional distress in the victim (e.g., a victim fearing for her own life), the victim may be able to sue.
Still, you should know that not every type of annoying conduct may constitute criminal or civil harassment. Acts which are not that severe, or happen only once or twice, may not be enough to support a lawsuit.