I found this website named “USLEGAL” that describes CRIMINAL DEFAMATION. The website says as follows:
Criminal Defamation Law and Legal Definition
Defamation can be a crime as well as a civil wrong. Criminal defamation occurs when one purposely communicates to any person, orally or in writing, any information which he or she knows to be false and knows will tend to expose any other living person to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule.
The following is a State Statute (Montana) defining Criminal Defamation:
Mont. Code Anno., § 45-8-212 Criminal defamation.
(1) Defamatory matter is anything that exposes a person or a group, class, or association to hatred, contempt, ridicule, degradation, or disgrace in society or injury to the person’s or its business or occupation.
(2) Whoever, with knowledge of its defamatory character, orally, in writing, or by any other means, including by electronic communication, as defined in 45-8-213, communicates any defamatory matter to a third person without the consent of the person defamed commits the offense of criminal defamation and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 6 months in the county jail or a fine of not more than $ 500, or both.