Picture-Perfect, the Pine Tree State of Maine

maine-photos-27

Spectacular in photos, but not so pretty when it comes to protecting against Sexual Assault by Fraud! 

There are 13 types of fraud identified in Chapter 37 of Maine’s Penal Code. And one of them, Misuse of Identification, is particularly revealing. It states that oral misrepresentation of name, date of birth, or any other means of identifying the person that is generally accepted as accurate and reliable, would make the offender guilty of a specific crime.

This statute enables us to see that providing oral false statements about one’s identity, when used to conduct an illicit act, is, indeed, penalized in Maine, but not when it comes to defrauding a victim of sex.

Enlightening clause on Sexual Assault and Sexual Contact…. 

2.    A person is guilty of gross sexual assault if that person engages in a sexual act with another person and:
A. The actor has substantially impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s sexual acts by furnishing, as defined in section 1101, subsection 18, paragraph A, administering or employing drugs, intoxicants or other similar means. Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime; [2007, c. 474, §1 (AMD).]
Arguably, this clause could enforce rape by fraud if the state would support that lies impair the victim’s ability to “appraise and control” and if fraud would be considered “other similar means.” Instead, the state of Maine prosecutes one specific type of Sexual Assault by Fraud, that of being duped into accepting a drug that could render the victim powerless against sexual contact:
A. The other person is a patient of the actor and has a reasonable belief that the actor is administering the substance for medical or dental examination or treatment; or [2007, c. 474, §2 (NEW).
Causation is a factor

§33. Result as an element; causation

Unless otherwise provided, when causing a result is an element of a crime, causation may be found where the result would not have occurred but for the conduct of the defendant operating either alone or concurrently with another cause, unless the concurrent cause was clearly sufficient to produce the result and the conduct of the defendant was clearly insufficient. [1981, c. 324, §14 (NEW).]

In every act of Sexual Assault by Fraud, the result, sexual relations, would not have occurred but for the conduct of the defendant operating either alone or concurrently with another cause. In fact, many cases of sexual assault by fraud occur alongside defrauding the victim of money or property and sometimes, even for immigration status.

The broader picture
Gross Sexual Assault” in Maine includes:
  • Coercion, (threat)
  • Violence
  • Sexual relations with someone underage
  • Sexual relations with someone mentally incapable of consent
  • Administering drugs intoxicants or similar means
  • Engaing in sex with someone who is incapable of resisting and has not consented to the sexual act
  • Engaging in sex when various circumstances of authority or medical care exist

In general, Maine needs to create specific language to protect its citizens, and travelers who come to fish, hunt, swim, hike, ski, kayak, bird watch, snowboard, surf, sail and conduct all kinds of other activities, from the perils of sexual assault by fraud when they’re visiting the state.

 

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