Local Politics

Former state Rep. Bob Hensley has died

Bob Hensley Jr. represented Wake County in the state House from 1990 to 2002. He was the author of the state's cyberstalking law.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Former North Carolina Rep. Bob Hensley Jr. died Tuesday at Rex Hospital from complications of leukemia, a spokeswoman said. He represented Wake County in the state House from 1990 to 2002.

Hensley, an attorney, was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and did graduate study at North Carolina State University. He earned his law degree from North Carolina Central University. He is survived by his wife, Pat Granger Hensley, and sons, Preston, Chris and Robert Hensley III.

Hensley, 62, was a pivotal player in the passage of the North Carolina cyberstalking law, which makes it a crime to communicate threats via electronic media such as e-mail, fax, pager and cellular phone. He proposed the measure before the rise of widespread wireless, high-speed Internet access and the explosion in text messaging and social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Hensley's law also criminalizes unauthorized access to computer networks, including Denial of Service attacks, which block access to computers for authorized users.

"Bob Hensley was a spirited and dedicated public servant who fought for what he thought was right and always cared about the average citizen," said his successor in the House, Rep. Deborah Ross.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Governor Bev Perdue issued this statement in memory of Hensley:

Bob Hensley was a public servant who had the best interests of North Carolina at heart and was never afraid to speak up for what he believed. His passion, determination and sense of humor left a lasting mark on his constituents and on North Carolina. He will be missed.

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