Maine Sex Offender Records
What is a Sex Offender?
A sex offender is a person who has been prosecuted and convicted for engaging in sex-related criminal conduct. Acts categorized as sex offenses differ from one state or legal jurisdiction to another. For example, in Maine, an individual who commits sex offenses listed in the State Criminal Code is considered a sex offender.
Sex offenses are among the most challenging cases to defend in the state's criminal justice system. The offenses classified as "sex crimes" are diverse but usually involve illicit sexual behavior. Sexual assault, rape, the possession or distribution of child pornography, and other forms of criminal sexual behavior are examples of prohibited sexual acts in Maine.
Convictions for these offenses can carry serious consequences, such as heavy fines and extended prison terms. Despite the severity of the punishment imposed by the Maine courts, the requirement to register as a sex offender is typically the most severe penalty. Because of the significant social stigma linked to sex offenses, simply being identified as a sex offender is enough to destroy one's reputation, relationships, opportunities, and career.
Who is Considered a Sex Offender in Maine?
In Maine, the label "sex offender" refers to any person who has been convicted of indulging in unlawful sexual conduct that violates Title 17-A, Chapter 11 of the Maine Code. People convicted of sex crimes against others, particularly kids, are required by law to register as sex offenders for a set length of time. The following are some offenses that can put a person in this category of criminals:
- Sexual assault
- Rape/Statutory rape
- Child molestation
- Possession/Distribution of child pornography
- Indecent exposure
What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses in Maine?
Title 17-A, Chapter 11 of Maine's statutes defines all acts and behaviors classified as sexual offenses. According to the legislation, all of these activities involve some form of sexual act, sexual contact, or sexual touching, specifically with minors. The law (17-A §251) establishes the similarities and distinctions between sexual acts, sexual contact, and sexual touching:
- Sexual acts are described as actions between two people that involve direct physical contact between one's genitals and the mouth or anus of the other, or direct physical contact between both parties' genitals.
- Sexual touching is considered to be any interaction, including stroking or rubbing of an individual's genitals or anus, directly or through clothing, for the goal of arousing or fulfilling a sexual desire or causing bodily injury.
- Sexual contact constitutes any direct or indirect caressing of the breasts, buttocks, genitals, or inner thighs to arouse or fulfill a sexual desire.
The Maine Penal Code lists the following as sex offenses:
Gross Sexual Assault (17-A §253)
It entails sexual actions with another person in which:
- The perpetrator has administered drugs or intoxicants to significantly impair the other individual from resisting (A Class B crime)
- Threats have compelled or influenced the victim to partake in the sexual act (A Class B crime)
- The victim has an apparent mental condition that prevents them from understanding the nature of the interaction or comprehending that they have the right to refuse or withdraw consent (A Class B crime)
- The victim is unable to consent to or oppose the sexual act because they are unconscious or physically incapable (A Class B crime)
- The victim is a student below 18 who is enrolled in a school or facility, where the perpetrator is an official with disciplinary authority over the student (A Class C crime)
- The victim is not up to 18 years of age and is a child care facility resident or attendee, and the perpetrator is a staff who has instructional or supervisory authority over them (A Class C crime)
- The victim is not up to the age of 18, and the offender is a parent or guardian responsible for the victim's long-term care and welfare (A Class B crime)
- The perpetrator is a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a licensed social worker, or pretends to be one to the victim, while the victim is a current patient or client of the perpetrator (A Class C crime)
- The perpetrator owns or works for an organization operated or funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the victim is receiving services from the organization, program, or residence. (A Class C crime)
- The perpetrator is a law enforcement officer, and the victim is being detained or interrogated (A Class B crime).
Unlawful Sexual Contact (17-A §255-A)
This is defined as intentionally exposing another person to sexual contact, and it occurs where:
- The victim has not consented to the sexual contact, either explicitly or implicitly (A Class D crime)
- The sexual contact includes penetration, and the victim has not directly or implicitly consented to it (A Class C crime)
- The victim is unconscious or cannot physically reject the sexual contact and has not consented to it (A Class D crime)
- The victim is not up to the age of 14, and the perpetrator is at least three years older (a Class C crime)
- The victim is not up to the age of 12, and the perpetrator is at least three years older (a Class B crime)
- The victim is 15 years old, and the perpetrator is at least ten years older (A Class D crime)
- The victim has a mental condition that leaves them substantially incapable of assessing the nature of the contact or recognizing their right to decline or withdraw consent (a Class D crime)
- The victim is on probation, parole, or a prisoner, and the perpetrator has supervisory or disciplinary authority over them (a Class D crime).
- The victim is a student enrolled in a school, facility, or institution, and the perpetrator is an official with some type of authority over the student (a Class D crime)
- The perpetrator is a parent or guardian responsible for the long-term general care and welfare of the victim (a Class C crime)
- Compulsion causes the victim to submit to the sexual act (a Class C crime unless the touch includes penetration, in which case it is a Class B crime).
It is important to note that offenses in this category could become aggravated with penetration. For example, if a crime was originally a Class D crime, it can be prosecuted as a Class C crime if penetration occurred.
Maine does not have a specific statute against statutory rape, although it has many laws against sexual conduct with children. Other sex offenses such as gross sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors (17-A §254), unlawful sexual contact (17-A §255-A), and unlawful sexual touching (17-A §260) are often used to file rape or statutory rape allegations.
Penalties for Sex Offenses in Maine
The criminal categorization of sex offenses in Maine determines their associated penalties. Sex offenses can range from Class E (the least serious) to Class A (the most serious) offenses, based on the following factors:
- The victim's age
- The relationship between victim and perpetrator
- Whether the offense was near a school
- If a weapon was used
- The perpetrator's past sex offenses
- The nature of the sexual interaction, especially if penetration occurred
For each class, the punishment may include:
- Class A crimes: A maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $50,000.
- Class B crimes: A maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000.
- Class C crimes: Up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- Class D crimes: Up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine.
- Class E crimes: Up to 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
What Types of Sex Offenders Exist in Maine?
Sex offenders in Maine are classified into the following categories, based on the severity of their convictions:
Tier I registrants constitute adults and juveniles who have been convicted and sentenced for Tier I offenses. A Tier I offense is defined as a conviction for committing or conspiring to commit a Class E, Class D, or Class C crime while the victim was under the age of 18.
Under Title 34-A, Chapter 17 (the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2013), sex offenders in this category must register with the Maine State Bureau of Identification and remain listed in the registry for 10 years. They must also verify their data and report changes once a year throughout their registration period. Unlawful sexual contact (regardless of the victim's age) is an example of a Tier I offense.
Tier II registrants are adults who have been convicted and sentenced for a Tier II offense, as well as juveniles who have been convicted and sentenced as adults. A conviction for a Class C crime or an attempt to commit a Class B crime where the victim was under 18 is a Tier II offense. Registrants in this category must stay on the list for at least 10 years but not more than 26 years. They must also validate their status every six months throughout their registration period. Gross sexual assault (regardless of the victim's age) is an example of a Tier II offense.
Tier III registrants are adults or juveniles who have been convicted and sentenced for committing a Tier III offense. Tier III offenses are the most serious sexual crimes in the state and are mostly violent. These offenses are usually Class B and Class A crimes or attempts to commit a Class A crime. Registrants in this category may be deemed sexually violent. Thus, they may be allocated a registration term of more than 25 years or for the rest of their lives.
How to Find a Sex Offender Near Me in Maine
Interested parties can find information on sex offenders around them in Maine through the following ways:
- Querying local law enforcement authorities.
- Searching available sex offender registry websites.
- Obtaining a criminal history record.
When a sex offender is released from a correctional facility, such as a county jail or a state prison, the Maine Department of Corrections is typically required to document the release. Hence, each state, including Maine, is responsible for informing the public of these releases for their safety and protection. State law enforcement agencies disseminate the information, and members of the public can obtain it from local sheriff's offices via public information requests or from a sex offender's registry.
Although the Maine State Police Department maintains a centralized sex offender registry website, many local sheriff offices and police departments across the state also publish localized registries that identify sex offenders particular to their area. However, in addition to displaying localized lists on their websites, these local law enforcement agencies must provide a link to the official Maine sex offender registry.
Inquirers can also go to the national registry, which links to all official registries in the United States, to access sex offender information.
Inquirers can also seek a Criminal History Record on specific sex offenders by calling the Maine State Bureau of Identification at (207) 624-7240 or visiting the agency's website. There is a price associated with acquiring criminal history data, unlike the sex offender registry, which offers information for free.
Interested members of the public may also obtain public record information from third-party websites. These privately owned sites typically host data culled from public databases and repositories. However, the information available on third-party sites may vary since they are independent of government sources. In order to use a third-party site, record seekers may be required to provide all or some of the following information:
- The full name on the record of choice
- The last known or current address of the named individual
- The address of the requestor
What Happens When You Register as a Sex Offender in Maine?
Maine's sex offender registration laws do not place restrictions on where a sex offender can live in the state. However, if the offender's sentence includes probation or supervised release, the individual may be subject to restrictions on where they can reside, work, or even travel.
Still, some towns and cities in Maine have passed ordinances that restrict convicted sex offenders from residing in particular places. For example, Chapter 21 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of South Portland contains a sex offender residency limitation law. However, these laws usually apply to individuals guilty of serious sexual offenses (Class A, B, or C crimes) against minors under 14. While the registration statute does not impose residency restrictions, a person's conviction may impose restrictions on contact with children.
Furthermore, individuals who fail to register as sex offenders or update their registration information without good reason may face substantial legal consequences based on previous convictions. Failure to register for the first time is a Class D misdemeanor. It carries a maximum sentence of 364 days in prison and fines of up to $2,000. Failure to register for a second time is a Class C crime, which carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years, as well as fines of up to $5,000. Finally, failure to register for the third time is a Class B crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
What is the Maine Sex Offender Registry?
The Maine sex offender registry contains information on all sex offenders registered in the state. The registry provides public access to details of persons required to register under the law, to promote public safety and general awareness. The information available on the database includes the offender's name, date of birth, primary and secondary residences, place of employment, registrant type, and photographs. Depending on the crime committed, convicted persons may register for 10 years, 25 years, or for life.
Who Runs the Maine Sex Offender Registry?
The sex offender registry is maintained by the State Bureau of Identification (SBI), an entity within the Maine State Police. According to Title 34-A Section 11281, the SBI must create and maintain a sex offender registry containing personal information on convicted persons. The bureau must also update the database daily to ensure that accessible information obtained by the public is the most current version it has on file.
Who Can View the Maine Sex Offender Registry?
The Maine sex offender registry is open to the general public. Maine law ensures that all interested persons can search for and obtain details published online. While Title 34-A Section 11281 provides a list of details the SBI should collect, not all of it is posted online. For example, the offender's passport, immigration documents, travel information, and social security number, are not available on the internet.
Updated data posted online is pooled from the periodic verification exercises required of convicted sex offenders. However, members of the public should note that there may be some inaccuracies as registered persons may fail to verify their information as required.
Who is a Sex Offender in Maine?
A sex offender is a person that has been convicted of a sex offense under state law. Each convicted person must register as a sex offender and also adhere to registration and verification demands as required by law. Upon conviction, sex offenders are classified according to the grievousness of their crimes. However, not all persons convicted of sex crimes are required to register. Registration is restricted to crimes listed in 34-A M.R.S. Subsection 11203 if committed before January 1, 2013, and 34-A M.R.S. Subsection 11273 for offenses committed on or after January 1, 2013. Common sex crimes in Maine include:
- Gross sexual assault
- Unlawful sexual contact
- Sexual abuse of minors
- Statutory rape
- Visual sexual aggression against a child
- Prohibited contact with a minor
Maine sex offenders must register and verify their information for at least 10 years. All convicted persons who live or work in Maine must also register, notwithstanding their state of conviction. Furthermore, persons living or working in Maine but convicted and unregistered in other states must register for convictions that would require registration if committed in Maine. All Maine sex offenders must register within three days of release from incarceration.
What are the Sex Offender Laws in Maine?
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is the legal framework for sex offenders registered in Maine. The SORNA provides for the establishment of a sex offender registry, an offender's duty to register, registration duration, and penalties for violating any part of the state's requirement for convicted persons. The act also requires law enforcement agencies to provide public notifications to at-risk persons when sex offenders register under state law. In Maine, there are two sex offender laws, including the following:
- Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 1999
- Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2013
Although both acts are similar, the SORNA of 1999 is the governing law for all crimes committed before January 1, 2013, while the 2013 SORNA, covers sex offenses committed on or after January 1, 2013. One fundamental difference between both laws is the length of time required to register. The 1999 SORNA grouped convicted persons into 10-year or lifetime registrants. On the other hand, the SORNA of 2013 prescribes three different tiers with varying registration and verification periods.
Not all sex crimes require sex offender registration. Convicted persons are only registered for crimes covered by the 1999 and 2013 SORNAs. Also, some convictions do not require that the offender's details be posted online.
How Long Do Sex Offenders Have to Register in Maine?
All sex offender registration periods depend on the severity of the crime committed. A sex offender convicted of an offense committed before January 1, 2013, had to register for 10 years or for life. For crimes committed later than January 1, 2013, offenders must register for 10 years, 25 years, or for life. Each offender's classification is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Can a Sex Offender Live With Their Family in Maine?
Sex offenders in Maine can live freely with their families. State law does not restrict a sex offender's residential choices. However, in special cases, some persons may have to forfeit living with their families if adhering to a court-sanctioned restriction requires them to do so.
Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in Maine?
Maine law does not require convicted sex offenders to notify neighbors of their registration status. Neighbors may obtain information on nearby registered sex offenders through the area or location search options provided on the Maine sex offender registry. However, Maine law allows law enforcement agencies to notify members of the public who may be endangered by a sex offender's presence in the area.
Do Sex Offenders Have to Put Up a Sign in Their Yard in Maine?
Sex offenders do not have to put up a yard sign. Convicted persons living or working in Maine are not required to erect any notices at their residences.
How Close Can a Sex Offender Live to a School in Maine?
Generally, there are no restrictions on where a registered sex offender may live. However, persons on supervised release or probation may have specific release conditions that restrict their residential, employment, or travel locations. The terms of an offender's sentence may also limit their contact with minors. These restrictions may be applicable even if the person is convicted for a sex crime but not required to register as a sex offender.
In some cases, Maine towns may have ordinances that restrict residential options for convicted sex offenders. These restrictions are only for Class A, B, or C crimes committed against minors younger than 14, and only apply within those towns.
Can You Expunge a Sex Offender Charge in Maine?
Maine sex offenders cannot have their charges expunged. Generally, criminal convictions must remain on an offender's record as the law does not allow for the expungement of this information. Maine allows some eligible persons to apply for gubernatorial pardons to expunge criminal records if five years have passed since completing all terms of their sentences. However, the state will not grant a request for a pardon if the purpose is the expungement of a sex offender charge.
How to Look Up Sex Offenders in Maine
The Maine sex offender registry contains statewide information on all offenders required to register under state law. Members of the general public can conduct an individual search, location search, or area search.
- Individual Search - The individual search requires using the offender's first name and last name, or the last name only.
- Location Search – This option requires the searcher to enter a Maine city or town. The option also offers a direct list of all cities and towns in the state.
- Area Search – The area search is for persons who want to find offenders in a particular zip code. After entering the zip code, users can also find information by searching up to a 30-mile radius.
Is Public Urination a Sex Offense in Maine?
While public urination is illegal in Maine, the act may not be considered a sex offense. Public urination violates indecent conduct laws, which describe the exposure of a person's private parts in an inappropriate manner or an unlikely place. Generally, offenders are not required to register.
What is Indecent Conduct in Maine?
Under Title 17-A Section 854, indecent conduct is the exposure of a person's genitals under circumstances likely to alarm or affront persons. Violation of this rule is considered a Class E crime. Section 854 also provides broader definitions for acts considered a violation. The law covers persons who:
- Engage in sexual acts in public places
- Expose their genitals in a private place intending to be seen from another private or public place
How to Report a Sex Offender in Maine
All sex offenders in Maine must comply with specific registration instructions. Anyone who has reason to believe that a sex offender might be violating registration terms is advised to reach out to local law enforcement as soon as possible. Concerned parties may also contact the Maine State Police.
Violation of registration requirements is a serious offense in Maine. According to Title 34-A Section 11288, the first failure to comply with any registration or verification requirement is a Class D Crime.