Survivors of child sexual abuse and sexual assault often struggle with several troubling questions. If you're in this situation, you may be wondering:
Our Maine sexual abuse victims' lawyers can help your family find justice. To schedule your free, confidential case consultation, fill out the contact form or give us a call.
As a victim or loved one of a victim of a sexual crime, you may be concerned with how the state will handle the criminal prosecution of the offender. We’ve summarized Maine’s sexual crime statutes below as a reference for victims, but remember that these laws change relatively frequently.
It’s best to discuss your case with an experienced Maine sexual abuse victims lawyer if you want to gain a better understanding of what punishment your offender may face.
Many victims may not realize that there are two court systems which handle cases of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and other sexual crimes.
From Caribou to Bangor and Augusta, the criminal courts handle the prosecution and punishment of dangerous offenders, but the criminal justice system often does little to cater to the needs of victims. Far too often, these courts fail to get convictions or even arrests, and dangerous sexual predators go free.
A civil lawsuit can help demand accountability from your attacker as well as any other negligent third parties (such as an organization that failed to properly screen volunteers or employees) who could have prevented the crime. Civil courts also provide financial support victims need for damages related to the crime, such as medical bills, therapy sessions, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you’re looking for more information on filing a lawsuit, you can learn more from our Maine sexual abuse lawyers in a free consultation.
In Maine, a person is guilty of gross sexual assault if he or she engages in a sexual act with another person and any of the following circumstances apply:
Someone who commits gross sexual assault will be charged with one of these three crimes:
In Maine, cases of statutory rape are handled under a statute called “sexual abuse of minors”. These charges apply in cases where a person who is either 14 or 15 years old (below the state’s age of consent of 16 years old) consents to sexual acts with someone who is at least 5 years older than they are.
Someone who is guilty of sexual abuse of minors can be charged with either a Class C or Class D crime, depending on circumstances:
A person can be convicted of visual sexual aggression against a child if he or she is 18 years or older and:
This crime is classified as Class D but if the victim is younger than 12 years old, it will be charged as Class C.
A person can be convicted of this crime if they are at least 16 years of age and knowingly attempt to engage in sexual contact with someone under 14 years of age, or who the person believes to be under 14 years of age.
This is a Class D crime, but in cases when the offender knew or should have known that the victim was under 12 years old, the offender will be charged with a Class C crime.
In Maine, it’s illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a sexual offense against a minor to directly or indirectly initiate contact with another person who is younger than 14 years old. This is a Class E crime punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
If the contact happens in a sex offender restricted zone (such as near a school), the charge will be a Class D crime punishable by up to 364 days in prison and a $2,000 fine.
A person is guilty of sexual misconduct with a child if the person is at least 18 years old and exposes the child to sexually explicit materials, including books, magazines, prints, negatives, slides, motion pictures, videotapes, or any other reproduced visual material which depicts sexually explicit conduct.
This crime is a Class D crime if the victim is younger than 14 years of age but older than 12 years of age, and a Class C crime if the victim is younger than 12 years old.
It’s illegal for a person to engage in sexual conduct (any genital or anal touching which falls short of a sex act) when the victim:
Depending on the circumstances, unlawful sexual contact can either be a Class A, B, C, D, or E crime.
Maine courts take a few factors into account when determining if an offender is a high-risk sex offender:
High-risk offenders are likely to receive more severe sentences.