AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate will consider a victims’ rights bill that supporters say would make it easier for victims to strip their attackers of parental rights to children conceived as a result of rape.

State law says a man convicted of rape can be stripped of parental rights to children conceived during the crime. Bill sponsor Bill Diamond says the standard of proof is too high.

The Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary endorsed the bill by a count of 10-1 last week. The next step is for an initial vote by the senate.

Diamond’s bill would allow victims to petition the court to terminate their attackers’ parental rights without a conviction by presenting “clear and convincing evidence” that the child was conceived as a result of rape.

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