Legislature to Consider Bill Banning Registered Sex Offenders from Taking Photos of Children

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - A bill to prohibit sex offenders from taking pictures of children in public places, cleared a legislative hurdle at the State House Thursday.

Members of the legislative council gave the ok for lawmakers to consider it.

The proposal follows complaints by parents who called Augusta Police to say a registered sex offender was taking photos of their kids in public places, then posting them online.

There is a lot of confusion regarding what registered sex offenders are and are not allowed to do.

According to the Cumberland County Sheriff's office, Maine law prohibits certain sexual offenders from initiating contact with someone under the age of 14.

Unfortunately, authorities say it's not always easy to find out which sex offenders are covered by this specific statute.

"There's no box that's checked on the state registry that says whether somebody's 261-required or not, so sometimes, it's a little bit more difficult and a lot of research has to go into whether somebody is before you can really determine whether you've got a crime or not," said Lt. Donald Foss of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

The exact wording of the bill has not yet been written.