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ME: Sex offender’s art removed from Lewiston exhibit


The University of Southern Maine has removed three works by a highly regarded oil painter from a gallery on its Lewiston-Auburn campus after learning that the artist is a sex offender, a decision that has prompted objections from the show’s curator and the Union of Maine Visual Artists. Full Article

Related Articles


Arts pieces by Pelican Bay inmates on display at courthouse [ 4/25/17 – non-sex-offender art displayed]

So we can’t have out art exhibits shown in public, either? Whoever decided this can Van Gogh to hell  [ 5/7/18]


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I feel it my duty as a human being to contact these people that do such rediculious things and point out to them that they are not so pure as to judge others. Though I try not to sound biblical or “preachy”.
I often will get responses to my emails, which tells me that I have hopefully planted a seed that will take root.

That is a good habit to make. There are some really good things said here, but it could be more effective if people outside could hear them. I was reading these comments and asking myself the same thing. What good am I doing?

Ample proof to support Colorado Judge Matsch’s judgement that the registry is cruel and unusual punishment enforced by the public.

This doesn’t surprise me at all. I attended USM in 2010 as a student completing my degree. In 2008 I was convicted of the misdemeanor offense of statutory rape based on the allegation that I had sex with a boy who was 6 weeks from the age of consent. I served 7 weeks in county jail and required to register in Maine for 10 years. The Dean of USM required me to meet with him, several campus officials, and there were also police in uniform present for the meeting to determine whether I would be allowed to continue to live… Read more »

I should note that I was 21 at the time of the allegation and that the age of consent in Maine is 16, but can be as low as 14 if there is less than a 5 year age difference. The boy alleged that he had sex with me when he was 6 weeks from legal consent (6 weeks from age 16). Likewise if I had been 8 months younger (less than 5 years older than the boy), no criminal act could have been alleged. USM ultimately refunded all my campus housing fees.

The problem is, because of the very public registry, and that the campus knew about your situation they are FORCED to take actions so they aren’t sued later for something you MIGHT do.. Just think if everyone’s record was that easily accessible people with DUI’s wouldn’t be allowed to drive on campus. People with a theft conviction wouldn’t be allowed to shop at the campus store etc..a bunch of BS.

“… they are FORCED to take actions so they aren’t sued later for something you MIGHT do.. ”

Though it hardly seems possible, Sunny said USM is immune to suit. Maybe certain types?

The University of Maine cites “State Sovereign Immunity” whenever they are sued because they are an agent of the State (public university). There is a 2012 case against UMaine in which the matter was dismissed due to this immunity, which is continually cited in the judgement: I reference this to make other people aware of the immunities given to state agencies. Each state is different. I’m not an attorney but there are some exceptions to state sovereign immunity, often cited as the 11th Amendment. I believe you have to show the state agency violated federal law or committed a… Read more »

Meanwhile, prisoners at places like Pelican Bay State Prison, california WORST and TOUGHEST prison for the most hardened criminals are freely able to display their artwork at the local courthouse:

But do they list their crimes as they hang their artwork? I can imagine if they listed their crimes then there might be some heartburn depending on what was listed by those who did artwork for the hallways.

The comments following the related article are interesting. One commenter is trying to make the case that once a sex offender, always a sex offender. “He IS a convicted sex offender. Present tense.” He is also pushing the high recidivism lie. “As for criminal justice as a whole I absolutely believe in rehabilitation and reintegration. It has to be done with public safety as priority number one. Unfortunately recidivism rates are high particularly with certain types of criminals.” The implication seems to be that “sex offenders” shouldn’t be allowed the same opportunities for reintegration as other offenders.

I’m wondering how many other artists would disappear from our art museums and historical centers if we undertook the work to uncover all past allegations against prominent artists. Certainly Oscar Wilde’s work would all have to be removed. Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Benvenuto Cellini and Giovanni Antonio Bazzi – all of their artwork stripped from the walls, from literature, from history. And what cultural standards should be used for such censorship? The US is one of only a small handful of nations that even have a registry, meaning only American artists will be censored, despite… Read more »

This is nothing but pure and unadulterated spite-work.

I’m flabbergasted. Was the art itself sexually offensive? Was the artist hanging around and luring people into sexual situations? I mean really? I might accidentally appreciate some art that was created by someone with a sordid past? Isn’t that expected? Can sex offenders donate blood? How can we assure an offender’s blood doesn’t end up in a CHILD? Can sex offenders donate their bodies after death? OMG, those EYES might have viewed CP in the former body! Are sex offenders allowed to buy shoes? My god, you know about foot fetishes! Is a sex offender allowed to lick the stamp… Read more »

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