Committee gives bipartisan support to Sen. Bailey bill to protect minors from invasion of privacy and predatory behavior

Posted: March 16, 2023 | Senator Bailey

AUGUSTA ­­— On March 15, the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee gave a strong, bipartisan vote of 12-1 to pass a bill from Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco. As amended, LD 115, “An Act to Protect Minors from Exploitation by Adults for Violation of Privacy,” would make violation of privacy a Tier I offense under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2013.

“With the abundance, ease of use, and storage capacity of small, concealable, high-definition recording devices, the threats against Maine’s children have grown exponentially,” said Sen. Bailey. “There is a gap in the law that allows individuals to victimize children with minimal consequences. LD 115 would help close that gap – and protect Maine children for generations to come.”

Maine does not have a hybrid sex offender registry. As amended, the bill would protect children from both sexual and non-sexual invasions of privacy. For sexual invasions of privacy, the sex offender would register with Maine’s sex offender registry. For non-sexual invasions of privacy, the offender would not register with the registry. In both cases, the invasion of privacy would remain a Class D crime.

During the public hearing for the bill, Shawn Box of Portland – a parent who worked with Sen. Bailey on the bill –  told the committee: “The filming of minors while in a position of authority as parent (married or otherwise) is clearly for no other reason than sexual self-gratification and should be on par with any other sexually predatory behavior.”

LD 115 now faces votes in the Senate and House.