Bill would bolster state’s child solicitation law


AUGUSTA — A legislative committee will take public testimony on a bill to bolster Maine’s laws protecting children from being solicited to engage in a sexual act.

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee takes up the bill Monday.

Maine’s current law prohibits a person from using a computer to solicit a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act. But no such prohibition exists if the solicitation is not performed with the use of a computer.

Senate Democratic Leader Barry Hobbins’ bill would prohibit the verbal solicitation of a child to perform a prohibited sexual act. If the child is less than 14 years of age, it would be a Class D crime; if the child is less than 12 years of age, it’s a Class C crime.