Maine Senate enacts Sen. Bailey bill to protect minors from invasion of privacy and predatory behavior

Posted: June 13, 2023 | Senator Bailey

AUGUSTA ­­— On June 13, the Maine Senate enacted 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 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 grateful to my House and Senate colleagues for supporting 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.”

LD 115 now goes to the Governor’s desk, where she has 10 days to sign it, let it become law without her signature, or veto it.