ME: Lawmaker Seeks to Ban Sex Offenders From Photographing Kids


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine lawmaker is proposing a bill that would make it a crime for sex offenders to take photos of children without parental consent.

Republican state Rep. Matthew Pouliot (POOL’-yot) says his proposal comes after several parents in Augusta called police last week to complain about a registered sex offender taking photos of girls and women in public and posting them online. Pouliot represents Augusta and says law enforcement was unable to act because the sex offender’s actions are not against the law.

Pouliot’s bill would make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

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Wow, such a waste of resources. This is paranoia at it’s finest! How many RC’s go around photographing children in the first place? My guess, very few if any.

Generally, I’m wary of any proposal based on anonymous complaints against unnamed RSOs; the premise is usually fabricated to begin with.

First, how did the complaining parents know that whoever took and posted whatever pictures was a sex offender, and what specifically were they convicted for? Second, what was so objectionable about the photos and/or their posting? Third, would the complaining parents have a problem if the pictures were taken and posted by anyone not on the registry?

If there is a genuine complaint against an individual, deal with the individual. If you can’t get him criminally, file a civil suit. If you can’t show damages for a civil suit, too bad. Like it or not, RSOs have just as much right to take pictures in public as anyone else. If you’re that uncomfortable with it, your only recourse is to keep yourself and your children out of public places. If you’re not willing or able to do that, GET OVER IT.

Laws aren’t intended to solve individual problems. Those that intend or profess to only cause unnecessary hardships on society as a whole. It’s been proven time and again.

Wi has a similar law

948.14  Registered sex offender and photographing minors.
(1)  Definitions. In this section:
(a) “Captures a representation” has the meaning given in s. 942.09 (1) (a).
(b) “Minor” means an individual who is under 17 years of age.
(c) “Representation” has the meaning giving in s. 942.09 (1) (c).
(d) “Sex offender” means a person who is required to register under s. 301.45.
(2) Prohibition.
(a) A sex offender may not intentionally capture a representation of any minor without the written consent of the minor’s parent, legal custodian, or guardian. The written consent required under this paragraph shall state that the person seeking the consent is required to register as a sex offender with the department of corrections.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a sex offender who is capturing a representation of a minor if the sex offender is the minor’s parent, legal custodian, or guardian.
(3) Penalty. Whoever violates sub. (2) is guilty of a Class I felony.
NOTE: The Court of Appeals in State v. Oatman, 2015 WI App 76, concluded that s. 948.14 is overbroad on its face and invalid in its entirety.
History: 2005 a. 432.
The structure of s. 942.09, with its separate subdivisions for capturing and possessing a representation, and the legislature’s decision to import the definition of “captures a representation” from s. 942.09, along with legislative history indicating that the purpose of this section is to prohibit sex offenders from photographing, filming, or videotaping minors without parental consent, leads to the conclusion that “stores in any medium data that represents a visual image” as used in the definition of “captures a representation” in s. 942.09 does not include the mere possession of visual images. State v. Chagnon, 2015 WI App 66, 364 Wis. 2d 719, 870 N.W.2d 27, 14-2770.

This is another horrific law. These ambigious laws give way too much leeway to LE. For example, what happens when an rc takes photos of statues in a downtown plaza and there happens to be minors photobombing the pic? There are 1000s of other scenarios where a “innocent violation” can occur. IMO this is just another gateway law that allows LE to access, confiscate, and evalute personal items of an rc after supervision is complete. There is no way this can hold up under rational scrutiny imo.

I wonder what Matthew Pouliot is hiding? No, scratch that! I don’t want to know!

So they’re perfectly okay with non-RC strangers taking pictures of kids and posting them online? The logic here if phenomenal!

This proposed law may run afoul of the First Amdt. His posting the pictures online is may well be what saves him. See:

Hey there, if you see a registered sex offender doing something you don’t like, make a law against it. It’s OK. Everyone does it.