Attorney John R. Grasso Published in Rhode Island Bar Journal

RIBJ Nov Dec 2011 Article

In our ever evolving, technology dependent society, the implications for using computers and social media are largely unknown and unforeseeable to most average Rhode Island citizens.

Rhode Island criminal defense attorney, John R. Grasso, has written extensively on the issue of Internet crimes, and was recently published in the exclusive Rhode Island Bar Journal.  Here is a small sample of Attorney Grasso’s article on Section 11-52-7(b) of the Rhode Island General Laws:

“Specifically, the use of a computer to knowingly transmit any false information is charge- able as a criminal offense. Knowingly posting a lie on Facebook, or any other social media, is a crime in Rhode Island punishable by up to one year in prison. Emailing information you know not be true is a crime in Rhode Island. Sending a knowingly false text message is unlawful. Section 11-52-7(b) makes what are everyday occurrences misdemeanor crimes.”

“Would the police investigate and charge a person with lying on Facebook? Would the police issue subpoenas, secure search warrants, and use special technology to track down a liar on Facebook? Would the State charge that liar? Would the court convict and sentence him? If the suspect was a police officer, and he purposely created a Facebook page identifying the Facebook profile as that of his police chief, the answer to every one of these questions is yes. Even if the suspect published facts on the alleged user’s profile so laughable that every person who saw the profile knew it was a joke, the State of Rhode Island would hunt him down, arrest, prosecute, and sentence him. This actually happened in one recent Rhode Island case charged under the statute…”

“The Internet contains billions of users and millions of websites. Millions of people use Facebook, and thousands of fictitious and joke profiles are created on the site every day. The public is constantly told not to believe what they read on the Internet because it may be filled with lies and inaccuracies. Therefore, there is no way for Rhode Island residents to be on notice that the “transmission of false data” is a misdemeanor when it occurs within the state, especially when most likely encounter false information on the Internet every day. Even if the public was on notice, they would be continually left to question whether the criminalization of false information when using a computer really stretches as far as it sounds, and where exactly it ends, such that the free expression of ideas would be substantially chilled.”

Read the entire article in the Rhode Island Bar Journal, pages 5-9 and 36-40.


If you are a Rhode Island resident who has been arrested and charged with any type of Internet crime, Attorney John Grasso should be the first person you call. Attorney Grasso is a successful Rhode Island criminal defense attorney with years of experience defending clients against state and federal laws Internet crimecharges.

Internet crimes can include, but are not limited to: cyber-stalking; sending harassing emails; sex crimes conducted via the Internet; various wire fraud, bank fraud, loan fraud, and money laundering crimes conducted using the Internet; and any number of harassing behaviors which may fall under the umbrella of domestic violence under Rhode Island’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act.

Whether you have been charged with a Rhode Island state misdemeanor Internet crime or a federal felony Internet crime, retaining a criminal defense attorney with a proven record of successfully defending clients against the prosecution should be your top priority in order to best protect your rights.  With Attorney John R. Grasso defending your Internet crime charge, you can rest assured your criminal defense attorney has the knowledge, skill, and resolve to zealously advocate on your behalf and obtain an outcome in your favor.