Senate overrides LePage veto of Carpenter bill to protect Maine children from unsolicited explicit images

Posted: April 18, 2018 | Senator Carpenter

AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate voted on Wednesday to override Gov. LePage’s veto of legislation from Sen. Mike Carpenter, D-Houlton. LD 1838, “An Act to Amend the Laws Governing Indecent Conduct To Include Distribution of Photographic Images” updates Maine’s indecent conduct laws to include the sending of unsolicited explicit digital images to children. The final vote was 27-8.

“If there is one thing we can all agree on in the Legislature, it is that we need to keep our young children safe. I am shocked why the governor, or anyone for that matter, would oppose this bill,” said Sen. Carpenter. “The reality is, our indecent conduct laws need to be updated to reflect basic advances in technology. Our kids shouldn’t not be left vulnerable to harassment, particularly of this nature, whether it is online, over-the-phone or in person. I am pleased that lawmakers could come together and override this veto.”

Sen. Carpenter submitted this bill after a court case revealed Maine’s indecent exposure laws were not consistent with major technological advances. The amended version of the bill would update state law to make electronic communication and digital images of sexual acts or of another person’s genitals to anyone under 14 years old a class D crime. This change would also apply to anyone 14 or 15 years old who receives such communications from anyone at least 5 years or older.

The bill also makes anyone who sends such images guilty of a class E crime if they send these images after being notified by the person receiving the messages that they do not consent to receiving the images or videos.

LD 1838 will now go to the House, where it received strong bipartisan support on enactment, for an override vote.