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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I do if I have been or someone I know has been sexually assaulted?
  2. Is my community safer because of the Sex Offender Registry?
  3. What else can I do to keep my community safe?
  4. How do I find out when a convicted offender will be released from incarceration?
  5. What state agency maintains the Sex Offender Registry?
  6. Where can I find Maine law regarding the requirements for the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act?
  7. How current is the information on the Sex Offender Registry website?
  8. Sometimes I find other sex offender websites for Maine offenders published by private entities, sheriffs' offices or local police departments. Is there any difference between those and the one published by the Maine State Police?
  9. What information can I find out about a person on the initial search?
  10. Is there a cost for this information?
  11. Will a registrant know if I search his or her name?
  12. Is there anything I can do if I know the information is wrong or not current?
  13. Can I find out if a person on the Sex Offender Registry has been convicted of any other crimes?
  14. I know a particular person was convicted of a sex offense, but I can't find the name on the Registry site. Why not?
  15. How is public notification made when a registrant moves into a neighborhood?
  16. Does the law prohibit a registrant from living near a school, day care or playground?
  17. Is every registrant listed on the website the same?
  18. Can I find out if someone is incarcerated?

1. What should I do if I have been or someone I know has been sexually assaulted?

Call 911 in the event of any emergency. If you have suffered sexual assault you can seek assistance from law enforcement or go directly to a hospital emergency department for care of injuries, treatment of possible sexually transmitted infections, and for pregnancy treatment. Most hospitals have nurses with special training to respond to sexual assault victims. The hospital can also contact a local victim advocate to meet you at the hospital. Law enforcement can also provide you with contact information for local victim advocates. You can also access free, confidential support by calling the 24-hour statewide sexual assault crisis and support number: 1-800-871-7741 (Voice) 711 (Maine Relay). Visit the website of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault at http://www.mecasa.org or click here for specific steps to take and further resources available to you. If you believe a child under 18 is being sexually or physically abused, you can call Maine's child abuse hotline at any time or call your local law enforcement agency. If a child tells you that he or she has been abused, try not to ask questions about the incident beyond those necessary to request help. Remain calm and call a local law enforcement agency or the child abuse hotline and allow someone trained in this sensitive area to speak to the child. The following link will connect you with the Department of Health and Human Services, which provides 24-hour hotlines. To report child abuse, elder abuse and other emergencies: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/hotlines.htm You can also contact the Department at 1-800-452-1999 (Voice) or 1-800-963-9490 (TTY).


2. Is my community safer because of the Sex Offender Registry?

The Sex Offender Registry provides a valuable public safety and community awareness service. However, sexual assault and sexual abuse are two of the most underreported crimes in the United States. That means that many sex offenders are not listed on the registry because they are not known to law enforcement or have not been convicted. Many sex offenders are required to register for a limited period of time, so not all of the known sex offenders who live in Maine are on the registry.


3. What else can I do to keep my community safe?

There are many things you can do to keep your community safe. Many victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse do not report to law enforcement because they are afraid of the perpetrators or feel embarrassed or ashamed. When we support survivors, we create a community where people can report sexual assault and abuse without fear of blame or retribution. More survivors can get the support they deserve, and more crimes can be prosecuted. Communicate openly within your family about sexual abuse. You can find resources to help at Stop It Now, a resource for ending child sexual abuse. You can also set clear and safe boundaries within your family, and encourage your children to talk to you if someone touches or talks to them in ways that make them uncomfortable. Get to know your local resources and how to use them. Reach out for help when you need it. Local sexual assault support centers have educational resources and confidential hotlines staffed by trained volunteers, and can direct you to the specific resources that can help you. Call 1-800-871-7741 (Voice) 711 (Maine Relay).


4. How do I find out when a convicted offender will be released from incarceration?

Maine law provides that victims of many crimes who have filed requests for notification with the prosecutor be notified of the defendant's release from incarceration. If you have not requested notification and wish to do so, contact the Victim Witness Advocate at the District Attorney's Office that prosecuted your case. The Maine Department of Corrections also provides a website and information for victims of crimes that include sentencing information, anticipated date of release, place of confinement and restitution status. This web site is at www.state.me.us/corrections/VictimServices/default.htm.


5. What state agency maintains the Sex Offender Registry?

The Sex Offender Registry is maintained by the State Bureau of Identification, which is within the Maine State Police.


6. Where can I find Maine law regarding the requirements for the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act?

Title 34-A M.R.S., Chapter 15, Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 1999, is the governing law for crimes committed before January 1, 2013. Any crime committed on or after January 1, 2013 is governed by Title 34-A M.R.S., Chapter 17, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2013.


7. How current is the information on the Sex Offender Registry website?

The registration information contained on this website is updated daily to reflect the most current information on file with the State Bureau of Identification. The date of the last update is displayed on each page. Registrants are required to verify their addresses quarterly, semi-annually or yearly, and to notify the State Bureau of Identification of any changes of address. The date of the last address verification is indicated next to the registrant's address. Registrants may, however, fail to notify the State Bureau of Identification of address changes. Therefore the State Bureau of Identification cannot guarantee the accuracy of the listed address.


8. Sometimes I find other sex offender websites for Maine offenders published by private entities, sheriffs' offices or local police departments. Is there any difference between those and the one published by the Maine State Police?

Yes. Maine law provides that the Internet site published by the Maine State Police is the official registry site. It includes information on persons who are required to register and who actually have registered in Maine. Police departments and sheriffs' offices may post information about sex offenders on their own websites, but must provide a link to the official Maine registry site. Other states, U.S. territories, and some Native American Tribes have their own official registries. There is a national registry, available at http://www.nsopw.gov/en-US. The national registry provides links to information on these official registries. Although websites published by private organizations may post information about sex offenders, these sites are not maintained or sanctioned by the State of Maine. The State has no knowledge regarding how accurate or current the information on these sites may be.


9. What information can I find out about a person on the initial search?

Generally, the following information about the registrant will be provided in response to the initial search: 1) name, 2) known alias names of the registrant, 3) registrant’s physical description, including gender, race, height, weight, and eye color, 4) date of birth, 5) photograph (if one is available), 6) mailing and home address or domicile of registrant, and 7) place of employment (city or town, if available), 8) place of school attendance (city or town, if available/applicable), and 9) a legal description of the crime for which the registrant was convicted, the date of the conviction, the court of conviction, and the sentence imposed.


10. Is there a cost for this information?

There is no cost to access the Registry website.


11. Will a registrant know if I search his or her name?

The identity of persons using the Registry site is not public information, and would not be disclosed to member of the public requesting that information.


12. Is there anything I can do if I know the information is wrong or not current?

Yes. The public can call the Registry at (207) 624-7270, e-mail the Registry at maine_SOR.help@maine.gov, or write to the Registry at the Sex Offender Registry, State Bureau of Identification, State House Station 42, Augusta, ME 04333-0042. All information will be thoroughly researched.


13. Can I find out if a person on the Sex Offender Registry has been convicted of any other crimes?

You can request a Criminal History Record either by contacting the Maine State Bureau of Identification at 207-624-7240 or by using the online web site at www.maine.gov/pcr . Generally there is a fee associated with this service. Maine criminal history records do not include convictions from other states or the Federal or Tribal Courts. For more detailed information, please refer to the State Bureau of Identification website.


14. I know a particular person was convicted of a sex offense, but I can't find the name on the Registry site. Why not?

Members of the public may contact the Registry Office and provide information regarding persons that they believe should be registered. Registry staff will research the information and determine if the individual is required by law to register. There are several reasons why an individual may not appear on the Registry site. Some of those reasons include the following: 1. The individual is still incarcerated. 2. The required registration period has been completed. 3. The crime the individual committed does not require registration. 4. The individual is a new registrant and registration is in process. 5. The conviction requiring registration has been vacated or set aside, or the individual has been pardoned. 6. The individual may not be living, attending school or working in Maine.


15. How is public notification made when a registrant moves into a neighborhood?

Public notification is made at the discretion of the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the area where the registrant resides. If you have questions regarding how public notification is made in your community, please contact the local law enforcement agency.


16. Does the law prohibit a registrant from living near a school, day care or playground?

Maine's registration laws do not include any restrictions on where a person may live. If a person's sentence includes probation or supervised release, there may be special conditions regarding where that person is permitted to live, work, or travel. This may be true whether or not the person is required to register. Some towns have enacted ordinances limiting where convicted sex offenders may live. These ordinances only apply within the towns that have adopted them, and can only apply to persons convicted of serious crimes (Class A, B or C) against children under 14. You can contact the town office to ask whether a particular town has adopted such ordinances.


17. Is every registrant listed on the website the same?

No. Many different types of sex crimes require registration. The victims may be children or adults. Some sex crimes against adults do not require registration. Registration is also required for crimes involving the possession or transfer of child pornography. The list of crimes that require registration is found in the definitions of "sex offense" and "sexually violent offense" in 34-A M.R.S. § 11203 (if the crime was committed before January 1, 2013) and in the definitions of "Tier I offense", "Tier II offense" and "Tier III offense" in 34-A M.R.S. § 11273 (if the crime was committed on or after January 1, 2013). Generally, a person convicted of a "sex offense" is required to register for 10 years. A person convicted of a "sexually violent offense" is required to register for life. These time periods apply to persons who committed their crimes before January 1, 2013. Persons who commit crimes on or after January 1, 2013 and are required to register are in one of three registration categories. "Tier I" registrants must register for 10 years; "Tier II" registrants for 25 years; and "Tier III" registrants for life. The convictions listed on the Registry site represent only those crimes that have been reported and successfully prosecuted. The Registry cannot make representations regarding whether a registrant has or has not engaged in other types of behavior. You can access statistics about sex offenders and different types of sex offending at the following website maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.nsopw.gov/en-us/Education/FactsMythsStatistics. More information is available at the website maintained by the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault: http://www.mecasa.org/joomla/index.php/resources-a-research/faq . Many other states include information on their registry sites. See, for example, the Colorado Convicted Sex Offender Site: http://sor.state.co.us/?SOR=home.youshouldknow.


18. Can I find out if someone is incarcerated?

If an individual is in the custody of the Department of Corrections, and is incarcerated in a DOC facility, inmate information may be obtained at www.maine.gov/corrections/FAQ.htm. Not all people are in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Some are held in county jails. You may have to check with local jails to see if an individual is incarcerated. You could also contact the Victim Witness Advocate at the office that prosecuted the crime.


Questions about this Service? Contact agency at: (207) 624-7270 or Email: maine_SOR.help@maine.gov

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