Maine Indecent Exposure Laws

The crime of indecent exposure is generally committed when someone intentionally exposes their genitals to someone else under circumstances where the act is likely to cause offense. However, each state's indecent exposure law defines the crime slightly differently. In Maine, indecent exposure is referred to as "indecent conduct" and criminalizes the act of exposing your genitals, in public and in private, under the circumstances outlined in the table below.

Code Section

Maine Revised Statute 17-A section 854: Indecent Conduct

What's Prohibited?

Engaging in any of the following acts in a public place:

  • A "sexual act," or
  • Knowingly exposing your genitals under circumstances where the act is likely to cause affront or alarm

Engaging in any of the following acts in a private place:

  • Exposing your genitals with the intent to be seen from a public place or from another private place, or
  • Exposing your genitals with the intent that you'll be seen by another person in that private place under circumstances that you know the act will likely to cause affront or alarm

What Constitutes a "Sexual Act?"

 

A sexual act means:
  • Any act between two people involving direct physical contact between the genitals of one and the mouth, anus, or genitals of the other
  • Any act between a person and an animal that involves the direct physical contact between the genitals of one and the mouth, anus, or genitals of the other, or
  • Any act involving direct physical between the genitals or anus or one and an instrument manipulated by another person when the act is done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, or for the purpose of causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact

Motor Vehicles

For the purposes of this law a "public place" includes, but isn't limited to, a motor vehicle that is on a public way.

Penalties

Indecent conduct is a Class E crime that is punishable by up to six months in jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

However, if the offender has two or more prior convictions for indecent conduct (or a related offense), then the offense is a Class D crime and is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding, whether done in public or in private doesn't qualify as indecent exposure in Maine. In fact, Maine has a law that specifically protects a mother's right to breastfeed. This law states that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother many breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is authorized to be.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Maine's indecent exposure law contact a local criminal defense attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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