AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is increasing the ability of law enforcement officers to fight child sex trafficking.
Democratic Rep. Genevieve McDonald proposed the change to Maine Criminal Code to make clear that people who attempt to patronize a minor for prostitution have committed a crime even if they unwittingly patronize a law enforcement officer posing as a minor. The law also changes the crime of patronizing underage prostitution from a “Class D” to a “Class C” crime.
Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, signed the bill into law last week. McDonald said the state shouldn’t “leave loopholes open or tie law enforcement’s hands as they work to protect our youth from predatory behavior and disrupt child trafficking networks anywhere they exist.”
The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault testified in favor of the law change. It’s set to take effect three months after the Maine Legislature adjourns.