Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Maine

In general, under Maine law anyone - regardless of age - who STATEcreates, distributes or possesses an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act may be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and if convicted, may serve up to 10 years in jail and be required to register as a sex offender.

Legislative Summary

In general, the dissemination, possession or production of an image containing a minor engaged in a sexual explicit activity would constitute a felony under the Maine child pornography statutes. Exceptions to the law for minors do not exist and as such two minors who send each other sexually explicit images of themselves could be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and if convicted, could receive jail time and may need to register as a sex offender.

Law and Punishment

In general under the Maine child pornography laws it is a felony to:

  • Knowing or intending that the conduct will be photographed, the person intentionally or knowingly employs, solicits, entices, persuades, uses or compels another person, not that person's spouse, who is in fact a minor, to engage in sexually explicit conduct (Sexual Exploitation of a Minor).
  • Intentionally or knowingly disseminate or possess with intent to disseminate any book, magazine, newspaper, print, negative, slide, motion picture, videotape, computer data file or other mechanically, electronically or chemically reproduced visual image or material that depicts any minor who the person knows or has reason to know is a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct (Dissemination).
  • Intentionally or knowingly transport, exhibit, purchase or possess any book, magazine, newspaper, print, negative, slide, motion picture, computer data file, videotape or other mechanically, electronically or chemically reproduced visual image or material that the person knows or should know depicts another person engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and:
    • The other person has not in fact attained 16 years of age; or
    • The person knows or has reason to know that the other person has not attained 16 years of age (Possession).

If convicted under the statute an offender could receive up to 10 years in prison (5 years for possession) and a fine for each offense. In addition, any offender, who is tried as an adult, convicted under the statute would need to register as a sex offender.

sobering reality

Separate felony convictions for possession, distribution or creation of child pornography.

Up to 10 years in jail (up to 5 years for possession).

Registration as a sex offender.

Latest News Concerning Sexting in Maine

High school students called in over sexting

SeaCoastOnline | April 7, 2011

An errant photo shows sexting's power to harm

Lewiston Sun Journal | March 29, 2011

Maine school considers adopting an anti-sexting rule.

KeepMeCurrent.com | August 25, 2010

Sexting cases on the rise amongst Maine teenagers.

The Portland Press Herald | March 12, 2010

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