Thursday, 25 January 2018 08:46

Bill proposes to change photography laws involving children Featured

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AUGUSTA (WGME) - A Maine lawmaker wants to make it a crime to take pictures of children without parental consent.

This has become an issue after a registered sex offender was caught taking random photographs of children.

 

Public outrage in Augusta and throughout the state, over a registered sex offender taking photographs of children out shopping, is what prompted this proposed bill to make it illegal.

 

Augusta police said last week, they investigated complaints that a registered sex offender was taking candid photographs of children most of them young girls. Police stated he did this at local stores without their parent's consent and then posted them online. But police found no crime had been committed, which shocked the lawmaker sponsoring this bill.

 

Rep. Matt Pouliot, R-Augusta, said "Yeah, I was, along with hundreds of other parents who were shocked that there was nothing really on the books that can be done."

 

Pouliot stated the bill he's sponsoring would make it a Class D crime for a registered sex offender to intentionally take random photographs of children without the parent's permission and post those photos online.

 

Offenders would face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

 

Pouliot stated "There's a lot of people across the state who are outraged by this occurring and want something to be done. And they're talking about incidents that have occurred in their town. So this isn't specific just to Augusta or one individual. This is a problem statewide that needs to be addressed."

 

Even though there is no law in Maine to stop sex offenders from taking photographs of children, police still urge parents to call them if they see someone taking pictures of children so they can determine if a crime is taking place.