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What is Statutory Rape and Punishment in Maine?

Rape is a sex crime where a perpetrator sexually assaults a victim and has forcible intercourse without the consent of the victim. This is a crime that involves stringent punishment under the laws. The primary definition of rape involves consent. However, there are cases where even if consent is given it would still be considered as rape. This is what is known as statutory rape. This is sexual intercourse where one of the participants is below the age of consent.

The law in each state sets an age of consent. This is the age below when sexual intercourse is legally not allowed. What this means is someone below the age of consent willingly has sex, then it would be considered as statutory rape. The law of statutory rape has been introduced to protect the rights of children and young persons below the age of consent, who may be exploited.

Statutory rape in Maine

In Maine, the age of consent as per law has been fixed as 16 years. As per the Maine Criminal Code 11-254, sexual intercourse with anyone below the age of 16 years would be considered as statutory rape. Even if the sex was with consent or even if the child had initiated the sex, it would be considered as statutory rape under the law.

Maine Statutory Rape Law
So, as per this law, anyone below the age of 16 is considered as someone underage who cannot give consent. Therefore sex with someone below 16 is considered as statutory rape and the perpetrator can be punished for this.

As per the law, sex with someone below 16, other than a spouse is considered statutory rape. However, there is a close-in-age exemption under the Maine law. This is popularly referred to as the Romeo Juliet clause. The purpose of this clause is to decriminalize sex between teenagers for whom sex is a natural act. In today’s world more and more teenagers are having sex and it is not possible to send everyone to jail.

Therefore the law gives an exception to those who are 14 or 15 years old who are having sex. However, this is permissible only if they have sex with someone who is less than 5 years older than them. The reason for setting a 5-year gap is the presumption that having sex with someone less than 5 years older is natural.

Maine Rape Laws
Sex with someone more than 5 years old could be because of physical or psychological coercion. So, someone 14 years can have sex with someone less than 19 years of age, but not older.

Statutory Rape Punishment Maine

There are three different provisions under the Maine laws that are used to prosecute those who commit statutory rape. One or more of these provisions may be used to prosecute for statutory rape.

  • Sexual abuse of minors: Sexual abuse committed on minors below the age of consent is punishable. If penetration is involved up to 10 years imprisonment is the punishment.
  • Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct by the display of sexually explicit materials to a child below 14 years is punishable with imprisonment of 1 year.
  • Illegal sexual contact: Where penetration happens and where the victim is younger than 14 years, and the perpetrator is 3 years older, then the imprisonment of up to 10 years is prescribed. Where a perpetrator is a school employee above 21 years of age and assaults someone 16 or 17 years, the punishment prescribes imprisonment of up to 6 months.

The Maine law has many provisions to protect the rights of minors under its rape laws.

Statutory Rape Law Maine

Maine Sex Offender Search

Searching for Maine sex offenders allows people to find out who violated Maine Statutory rape laws, and who committed other sex crimes. The information about such offenses can be found in public records, so you are able to discover who is a registered Maine sex offender by searching for public records. To perform the search, you can use an online public records search directory, like GoLookUp, that provides several ways to find registered sex offenders in Maine and in other states.

The first method is a zip-code search engine that allows you to find information about all the registered sex offenders in a particular area. To perform the search, you need to enter a zip code that you want to find information on. When you enter a zip code into the directory, GoLookUp will scan public records, and it will provide you with a list of all the sex offenders in that area.

You can also use GoLookUp's criminal records search directory; to perform a Maine sex offender search with this type of directory, you need to enter the name of a person into the search field. When the search is complete, you will get a criminal records' report about the said person, including whether they have violated Maine Statutory rape laws.