By law, some states prohibit certain sexual activities. In many states, for example, there are still sodomy laws. While sex between consenting same-sex couples is legal, such laws are still in effect in some jurisdictions. Historically, they have been used to target same-sex couples.
Continue reading for an overview of the laws in Maine prohibiting certain sexual activities.
Constitutionality of Regulating Sexual Activity
In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Lawrence v. Texas that Texas' same-sex sodomy law was unconstitutional. It was ruled that prohibitions on consensual sexual activity between adults was and is an invasion of relevant privacy laws.
As a result of the Lawrence case, laws in other states targeting consensual sex between same-sex couples were also invalidated. These laws were also recognized as unconstitutional.
At the same that the Supreme Court recognized such laws as allowing for unconstitutional invasions of privacy, the Court also recognized that sodomy laws had another negative consequence. They allowed for discrimination against a protected group of people. Implied in the court's ruling was the following question: why could one sexual demographic of persons benefit from relevant privacy laws, while another could not?
In another example of sexual activity that is prohibited by law, statutory rape laws prohibit certain types of sexual activity, as well.
Statutory rape refers to sexual activity between an adult and someone who is under the age of consent. The age of consent varies from one state to the next. In Maine, the age of consent is 16.
However, Maine does have a “Romeo & Juliet" law. In Maine, this law protects partners who are less than five years older than their sexual partner.
Penalties for statutory rape vary according to the specifics of any given circumstance under which an offense takes place. However, they are treated as Class C, Class D, or Class E criminal offenses.
Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity in Maine
The following chart lists the prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Maine:
||Maine repealed the criminal sodomy law in 1975.
|Crimes Relating to Consensual Sexual Acts
||A person is guilty of indecent conduct if they:
- Engage in a sexual act in a public place
- Exposes their genitals in circumstances likely to alarm others
- Exposes their genitals in a private place where they can be seen in a public place (like the sidewalk) or another private place (like a neighbor's home or the same home if the purpose is to cause alarm)
Typically, indecent conduct is a Class E crime, but if the defendant has two or more prior convictions, it's a Class D crime.
|Compelled Testing of HIV/AIDS
||A victim of a sexual crime or that person's parent, guardian, or authorized representative can ask a court to order a convicted sexual offender be tested for HIV/AIDS. This must be done any time prior to sentencing or no later than 180 days after conviction.
Note: State laws are revised frequently. Please conduct your own legal research or contact a knowledgeable attorney to verify these criminal laws.
Research the Law
Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about all laws in Maine, including those related to prohibited sexual activities:
- At Maine Law, you'll find links to all laws within the state, including those related to prohibited sexual activities.
- At Official State Codes, you'll be able to review the official laws of all 50 states (including Maine) and the District of Columbia.
Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about laws related to sexual:
Need More Help? Consider Contacting an Attorney
If you've been accused of a crime related to sexual activity, it's likely wise to seek the help of an attorney. It can get very complicated to navigate such a legal issue without a lawyer's assistance. Consider contacting a criminal defense attorney near you.