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Maine Sex Offenses and Why They are Different

The punishment for sex crimes in Maine is an extensive process of penalties and reformation. State law and Federal code on sex crimes inform the disciplinary process. Often, a sex offender gets flagged in a publicly accessible registry. The government requires this to protect the community and to create a stigma to serve as a deterrent. Maine’s law code provides the definitions and interpretations of sexual crimes and punishments in the state.

What is Maine Sex Crime?

According to Maine’s laws, sex crimes can range from public display of sexual acts to felonious violation of individuals. All the sex crimes under the state of Maine law code align with federal regulations on sex crimes. This means both federal and state authorities can prosecute a sex crime in Maine.

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?

According to Title 17–A, Chapter 11 of the state code, the sex offense categories in Maine are:

  • Sexual abuse of minors: this statute also governs statutory rape, which is sexual intercourse with children. A child here depends on several factors. If the child is between 14 and 15 years of age while the offender is five years older, it is a Class D crime. If the victim has family relations with the offender, it becomes a Class C crime. A Class E crime in this category is when the offender is at least 21 years old and engages in sexual acts with persons between the ages of 16 and 17 who are under their supervision.
  • Visual sexual affront against a child: if the offender is at least 18 years old and the victim is less than 14 years old, it is a Class D crime. When the victim is less than 12 years of age, the law interprets it as a Class C crime.
  • All forms of sexual misconduct with a child less than 14 years: Any form of sexual misconduct with persons below the age of 14 years by an offender that is 18 years and above is a Class D crime. Where the victim is less than 12 years, it becomes a Class C crime.
  • Soliciting a child’s cooperation to commit an unlawful sexual act: sexual acts with persons less than 14 years of age in which the offender is three years older are Class D crimes. It becomes a Class C crime when the victim is less than 12 years of age. Prohibited acts in this category refer to the law’s interpretation of sexual acts, sexual contact, and sexual exploitation of a minor.
  • Soliciting a child’s cooperation in prostitution: the law interprets or deliberate acts in this respect as a Class D crime.
  • Inappropriate touching of body parts for sexual gratification: all forms of sexual touching are Class D crimes in this category.
  • Gross sexual assault: refers to sexual acts with victims under compulsion, force, or persons with no capacity for consent, or below the age of 14 years. It is a Class A crime. A Class B crime in this category refers to the sexual violation of persons under official care or supervision. Class C crimes are the same as Class B, except that it happened in a private facility.
  • Unlawful contact with a minor in a sex offender restricted zone: all prohibited contact with minors in places designated as “Sex Offender Restricted Zone.” It refers to areas where children are the primary users, such as a toilet facility.

Class A crimes are the most severe and face penalties of up to 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. Class B category of crimes receives punishments of up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Class C crimes receive a maximum of five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Class D category of crimes receives prison time of up to one year and $2,000 fines, while Class E crimes attract a maximum of six months’ jail time and a fine of $1,000. Besides all this, a sex offender must register for at least ten years with the Maine Sex Offender Registry.

Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Maine

There are three tiers of sex offender Classifications in Maine:

  • Tier 1 offense means that the individual has a conviction for a Class D or E crime involving an adult victim at the time of the incident. They must register with the local law enforcement agency for ten years.
  • Tier 2 offense represents a conviction for a Class C crime. Tier 2 offenses involve adult victims only. The registration period is 25 years.
  • Tier 3 offenses receive a conviction for a Class A or B crime and must register for a lifetime.

Note that registrants of all tiers may be adult convicts at the time of the case or a juvenile convict sentenced as an adult for the offense.

How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in Maine?

Contact the local law enforcement agency of interest. Usually, the sheriff’s department keeps a register of sex offenders in the county, city, or town. The state’s laws impose that the register should be available in hard copy format at the sheriff’s office and in electronic form on their department’s website.

Maine Sex Offender Registry

The State of Maine has a central sex offender registry containing the names of all sex offenders convicted within the state that have complied with the registration order. It also keeps the names and information of offenders in other states that have moved into Maine. The Maine State Bureau of Identification, under the auspices of Maine State Police, collects data from the county level and collates them into a database that provides any interested person access to information in one place. Although the information is available in paper copy, the State Police often refer inquiries to the Maine State Police website’s electronically available database. It is a public record, and there are no restrictions as per eligibility to view or copy them. The following information is available per registrant:

  • Names, aliases, birth date, and a recent photo of the registrant
  • Contact address of the registrants
  • The place of employment or School where the registrant works or studies as applicable
  • The corresponding mailing address and live location of the workplace
  • A summary of the sex offense for which the registrant received the conviction and an accompanying statutory citation
  • Indicator as a tier 1, 2, or 3 registrant
  • The resident location of the registrant on a map.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are the Sex Offender Restrictions in Maine?

All registrants must report in person to the local law enforcement agency in their residential area within three days of receiving a conviction or completing an incarceration sentence. They must notify the agency within 24 hours should they begin employment or enroll in college/school. Tier 1 and 2 registrants having multiple convictions could face a regrading to tier three registrants. Although Maine does not impose restrictions on employment or residence like other states, sex offenders may face restrictions in some towns, especially under probation or supervision. Failure to comply with the set restrictions is a Class D crime. A repeat offense of non-compliance skills leads to a Class C crime, while a third offense escalates it to a Class B crime.

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