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Proposed Bill Would Make it Illegal for Sex Offenders to Photograph Children in Public

A few weeks ago, Augusta police were inundated with hundreds of complaints that a convicted sex offender in the community was taking pictures of children in public places. Lawmakers will consider a proposal to make that a crime.

Augusta Republican Rep. Matt Pouilot said he was surprised and disgusted when parents told him about the incident, and again when police said there was no law being broken.

“We have individuals who have been convicted of crimes across the state of Maine involving children who are taking these photographs and posting them online,” said Pouilot. “They get some kind of thrill out of it and that is inappropriate.”

Legislative leaders have now allowed the Legislature to consider a bill that would make it a crime for someone on the state sex offender registry to take pictures of children without parental consent.

“Two weeks ago I had no idea I would be working on this bill,” said Pouilot. “This is something that really was brought to our attention by a particular individual in the Augusta community. He was going around this community snapping these photos.”