Maine May Clear Records for Those Convicted of Prostitution
Current Maine Prostitution Laws
Prostitution is defined in Maine Criminal Code as:
engaging in, or agreeing to engage in, or offering to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact...in return for the pecuniary benefit to be received by the person engaging in prostitution or a 3rd person.
According to Find Law, the penalty for this crime for a first-time offense is classified as a Class E crime, which according to Maine.gov is punishable by up to 6 months incarceration and a $1,000 fine. However, if there are additional convictions for engaging in prostitution or for a similar crime within the last 2 years it's considered a Class D crime. Class D offenses are punishable by up to 364 days of incarceration and a $2,000 fine.
South Portland Representative Lois Reckitt sponsored a new bill being presented to Maine lawmakers to expunge the records of those convicted of prostitution according to WGME. The individual convicted of the crime would bear the responsibility to petition for their record to be cleared.
Maine Public reports that supporters call this bill "groundbreaking" in that civil penalties would remain for those who are buying sex work services and not penalize those selling the service.
There has been a building shift in culture to be more accepting of those engaging in sex work as long as it's consensual. Many argue, including Representative Reckitt that oftentimes people engage in this work in order to survive.
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