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ME: Maine Senate backs bill to extend statute of limitations on sex crimes

[timesrecord.com – 5/1/19]

The Maine Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would extend the state’s statute of limitations on sexual assaults from eight years to 20 years.

The measure, if approved by the House and signed by Gov. Janet Mills, would put Maine more in line with other states’ sex crimes statutes. The Senate passed the bill without debate.

“Only three other states have shorter statutes of limitations than Maine,” Sen. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, the bill’s sponsor, said during a public hearing on the bill in April. “Several states have removed them entirely for felony level sex crimes, allowing victims to come forward whenever they are ready.”

Opponents to the bill included the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

“It is difficult enough as it is now to defend against allegations that occurred some eight years ago,” the association’s executive director, Tina Nadeau said in written testimony to the Legislature. “Trying to look back some 20 years for evidence that would show your innocence of a crime that occurred 20 years ago is nearly impossible.”

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  1. ab

    At what point does reporting potential criminal activity become a pursuit of revenge over justice? Keeping in mind that justice is more often than not legalized revenge. Eventually people will move beyond law enforcement action as the preferred method for resolving such conflicts towards something with greater healing/rehabilitative value for all involved, but until then everyone must deal with nonsense like this.

    • Will Allen

      This comment is not really related to statutes of limitations. I just wanted to say that the main reason the Registries exist is for punishment and revenge. That much is clear.

      I can’t count the number of times that Registry Supporters have told me something like, “If your child was $EXUALLY assaulted, you would want the Registries too.” Those people are too dumb to even understand what they are saying. The only legitimate reason that the Registries could have for existing is to prevent future crimes. Registries have nothing at all to do with past crimes. Or at least they would not if they were legitimate, which they aren’t.

      As far as “reporting potential criminal activity” goes, I’m not going to be doing that. That is what the Registries have done. I’m not going to be reporting any crimes unless it is of benefit to me or can harm someone that I want harmed. Other than that, friggin forget it. If I see a house on fire, I’m doing nothing. If I see “see something”, I’m not worrying about “say something”. That is what the Registries have done. Big government is the last place that I’ll be turning for assistance. They are obviously immoral.

  2. AJ

    While this is purely a continuation of the mass hysteria our country has about all this sexual, in some ways I look forward to piling a few more thousand people onto the registries. That will mean more families affected, meaning more families finding out how useless and asinine it is. It’ll also mean more manpower and financial burdens to the LE entities. Bring it on, the camel’s doing fine. One or two more straws won’t hurt.

  3. Dustin

    Of course, I’m sure there are mechanisms and procedures to protect against false accusations, right?

    [/sarc]

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