Classifying Acts of Indecent Sexual Behavior
Serving Portland, Augusta, Saco, Biddeford, and Bangor Maine Areas
Simply defined, indecent exposure is the "deliberate exposure in public or in view of the general public by a person of a portion of portions of his or her body" (Wikipedia), which is unacceptable by moral and/or societal standards of conduct. This includes exposing areas such as the genitals, the buttocks, and female breasts under inappropriate, or public, circumstances-excluding a mother's ability to breastfeed in public. This type of behavior is often carried out with the intention of shocking or disturbing another, or to receive sexual gratification.
Indecent exposure can also include other sexual, or otherwise inappropriate, acts that are done within the view of the public, such as:
- Sexual intercourse
- Public nudity
- Lewd conduct
What are the ramifications?
Depending on the type of indecent exposure that took place, one might expect to face serious legal consequences. Under Maine Code §256, "any person 18+ who for sexual gratification lewdly exposes his genitals to a person under 14, or causes a person under 14 to expose his genitals" can be charged with a class D crime, or a class C crime is the victim was under 12 years old. A class D crime may result in up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $2,000, and a class C crime may result in up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
For lesser offenses, like engaging in a sexual act in view of the public or intentionally exposing one's genitals in a public place or with the intention of being seen from another private place, one would face a class E offense-which may result in six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If an offender has two or more prior convictions for any combination of these sex crimes, it would then result in a class D crime. Under the law, motor vehicles that are parked on a public way are still considered a public place, so if found to be engaging in a sexual act while in a motor vehicle, one may still be charged with indecent exposure, as well.