Maine Looks to Decriminalize Prostitution
There will be hearings today (March, 6th, 2019) on two separate proposals at the Maine State House. The first proposal would decriminalize prostitution statewide. The second proposal would ban law enforcement from charging a minor with prostitution.
Part A decriminalizes engaging in prostitution by making the following amendments to the laws.
1. It changes the term "prostitute" to the term "prostituted person" in the law on funding for the Victims' Compensation Fund and in the definitions in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 17-A, section 851.
2. It repeals the crime of engaging a prostitute in Title 17-A, section 853-B and places the provision in Title 17-A, chapter 11, which governs sexual assaults, in section 253-A using the term "engaging a prostituted person" instead of the term "engaging a prostitute." It provides definitions in chapter 11 for "engaging a prostituted person" and "prostitution."
3. It repeals the crime of engaging in prostitution.
4. It removes from the adoption assistance program reference to prostitution in the examples of family background factors that are used to define a special needs child.
Part B allows a person convicted of a crime of engaging in prostitution in this State to petition the court in which the conviction was recorded to expunge the record of the conviction. It authorizes the court to order all records of the conviction expunged if the convicted person has not been convicted of a violation of Title 17-A, section 253-A, 852 or 853 or former section 853-A and has no formal charging instrument pending in this State for a violation of Title 17-A, section 253-A, 852 or 853. Part B requires the Department of Public Safety, State Bureau of Identification, following receipt of a court order for expungement, to make the necessary arrangements with the identification division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to have all references to the expunged crime deleted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's identification record and any state materials returned to the contributing agency.
We will keep this story updated as more information becomes available.