Gov. Mills signs Sen. Bailey bill to protect minors from invasion of privacy and predatory behavior

Posted: June 22, 2023 | Senator Bailey

AUGUSTA ­­— On June 20, Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill from Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco, into law. 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 a person to victimize children with minimal consequences. LD 115 would help close that gap – and protect Maine children for generations to come. I’m glad that the Maine Legislature and Gov. Mills supported this bill.”

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.”

As a non-emergency measure, LD 115 will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.