Outrage of the Week: Law Will Prevent Adults from “Staring” at Kids. UPDATED!!

Hello, Readers: If we are ruled by fear, fear will make the rules. And by “fear” I mean mass hysteria.

Here is the latest assault on sanity and rights: A law is being proposed in Maine that will make it a crime for adults to stare at kids.

You read that right (with those eyes you’d better keep to yourself). Those who peer at children in public could find themselves on the wrong side of the law in Maine soon. Here’s the story, from Seacoastonline.com:

A bill that passed the House last month aims to strengthen the crime of visual sexual aggression against children, according to state Rep. Dawn Hill, D-York.

Her involvement started when Ogunquit Police Lt. David Alexander was called to a local beach to deal with a man who appeared to be observing children entering the community bathrooms. Because the state statute prevents arrests for visual sexual aggression of a child in a public place, Alexander said he and his fellow officer could only ask the man to move along.

“There was no violation of law that we could enforce. There was nothing we could charge him with,” Alexander said.

Oh darn! You mean we couldn’t throw him in jail for just standing there, giving us the willies? What kind of country IS this? It’s like the place is crawling with civil rights!

…Under the bill, if someone is arrested for viewing children in a public place, it would be a Class D felony if the child is between 12 to 14 years old and a Class C felony if the child is under 12.

“Hey bud, what are you in for?”

“Me? I murdered my boss and fed him to my dog. And you?”

“I looked at a kid in public.”

“Pervert!”

The law was, of course, prompted by fear for our children. I fear for them, too: They could grow up and spend their whole lives in jail for doing nothing more than opening their eyes, in public. — L

P.S. I didn’t realize when I posted this that the article was from 2008. Thanks for the alert, readers! And also for the delving into what it may or may not entail. I am very sorry to report, however, that “Visual Sexual Assault” is a real crime in Maine and I even wrote about it, after interviewing a mom whose son was convicted of it. Here is the piece. — L.

I sure hope the degenerate who took this photo is doing hard time.

62 Responses

  1. Your blog covers more than just children – it also covers how we are being “Sovietized” via social conditioning. Imagine living in a society where all punishments for individuals’ actions are collective and everyone is terrified of making eye contact with one another. We’re getting closer to this dismal reality every year.

  2. so a driver driving by some children playing on the sidewalk or passing a park will have to avert his eyes?

    that will do wonders for the accident statistics

  3. Who gets to decide what the difference between “staring at” and “enjoying the antics of”?
    I’ll admit that I’ve “stared” at kids at the beach in Maine- they always seem to be having so much fun- I like to see people having fun.
    Should I not go to the beach anymore?

    Maybe I’ll take my tourist dollars elsewhere….

  4. It will be interesting to see the first time someone gets arrested for taking their children to the park and staying to watch them.

  5. Know what you do if you see someone looking creepy at kids going into a bathroom or doing anything else? Make sure your kids are aware of them. Most kids have a pretty good “creep radar” anyhow, I think.

    Staring too much can be creepy, but it’s not exactly harmful.

  6. Well, it will be a cold day in hell before I ever go to Maine again. I love to watch kids having fun, and I always stare at cute babies wherever I see them. What can I say? I love babies. I have loved them all my life. When my own babies were little I used to stare at them for hours. Now that they’re all grown up I have to stare at other people’s babies to get my baby fix. I think the dupniks who thought up this stupid law should be locked away in a hospital for the criminally insane.

  7. WOW!! Just when I can’t be any more disgusted…BAM! This is just completely wrong. No matter how you “justify” it, IT’S wrong. It go against everything in the constitution. It goes against everything humane. Forget all that, but a bill like this has serious ramifications. If this bill passes, who’s to say they can’t make amends to it to cover any staring of any kind. After all, you can’t say it’s the law to stare at kids, and not say it’s the law to stair at women in shorts or bathing suits at the beach or pool. It’s like laws for killing, killing is killing. Whether it be a human or a pet. It’s just wrong, and against the law. You can’t make staring a law for one thing and not another. And if they outlaw “staring” in general, do they not realize the anarchy and chaos it would cause. Especially in the court rooms. That’s like busting EVERY SINGLE person that j-walks. The courtrooms would be rammed everyday, for hours just trying to sort that stuff out. And when you visit Maine, everyone is looking at the ground. lol Chances are, they’re death rate will go up too, because no one is paying attention to where they are walking to avoid being caught “staring” at anyone. RIDONKULOUS! You’d think with Bin Laden gone, people would be less paranoid. I’m glad I don’t live in Maine, nor would I ever visit there now. Way to go geniuses.

  8. I believe that cop was misinformed. If the man was hanging around a public bathroom he could be arrested for loitering, causing a public nuisance, disturbing the peace or any quality of life infraction. But in any case, when the cops told him to move along and he did so, why did he even need to be arrested?

  9. This means that if a man notices a child in distress in a public place, in the time it takes him to agonize over whether it would be okay for him to go over and assist the child, he could be arrested.

    Awesome.

    I’d like to think that if my child were in trouble and I’m not available to help him, that some kind stranger would take the time to. I suppose those lawmakers would then say I should be thrown in jail, too, for not being right next to my child every moment of his life until he turns 18.

  10. this is insane.

  11. This is just the logical extension of the “no photographing children” law in the previous post, which several commenters seemed to think was ok.

  12. This article is from three years ago. I wonder if the law has hadany impact on anything in that time.

  13. Wow, I just expanded my vocabulary. Of course there is no such thing as “visual sexual aggression”, at least not in the context suggested here. There is nothing sexual about looking at a kid — nor is it agressive.

    I wonder how the politicians expect the police to uphold it. How exactly are they supposed someone is staring at some kids instead of the cute dog or bunny rabbit in their vicinity? And exactly how long do you have to look before a regular look turns into a stare? Another one of those laws that have been put together without proper definitions. *sigh*

  14. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

    Normally, I would be outraged being a guy. However, being a guy _and_ a citizen of Maine, I looked into the law. It does not seem to be a bad addition that was made to the law after all.

    http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec256.html

    Paragraphs C & D are below and clearly state that the observation is of uncovered parts of the body that are normally covered and in areas (like bathrooms) where a child (or anyone for that matter) should not be observed and not in a public place as indicated.

    C. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, intentionally engages in visual surveillance, aided or unaided by mechanical or electronic equipment, of the uncovered breasts, buttocks, genitals, anus or pubic area of another person , not the actor’s spouse and not having in fact attained 14 years of age, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from such visual surveillance. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or [2007, c. 688, §1 (AMD).]

    D. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, intentionally engages in visual surveillance, aided or unaided by mechanical or electronic equipment, of the uncovered breasts, buttocks, genitals, anus or pubic area of another person , not the actor’s spouse and not having in fact attained 12 years of age, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from such visual surveillance. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime. [2007, c. 688, §1 (AMD).]

    I love this blog and am very supportive of the whole free range philosophy. This is one case where I disagree with the summary.

  15. This article is from 2008, when the law was proposed. As far as I can tell, it passed, and added sections C and D to this statute, which is current Maine law as of 2011:

    http://www.legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec256.html

    C. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, intentionally engages in visual surveillance, aided or unaided by mechanical or electronic equipment, of the uncovered breasts, buttocks, genitals, anus or pubic area of another person , not the actor’s spouse and not having in fact attained 14 years of age, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from such visual surveillance. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or [2007, c. 688, §1 (AMD).]

    D. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, intentionally engages in visual surveillance, aided or unaided by mechanical or electronic equipment, of the uncovered breasts, buttocks, genitals, anus or pubic area of another person , not the actor’s spouse and not having in fact attained 12 years of age, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from such visual surveillance. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime. [2007, c. 688, §1 (AMD).]

    The law still doesn’t say anything about “visual sexual aggression” in a public place, though the area near a bathroom could be interpreted as private by a cop or judge. But it is still legal in Maine to look at children in public, even if anyone who would harrass you for it before the law will still harrass you for it now.

  16. I am not familiar with how these things become law. Is it likely to actually pass in the Senate and become law or is this the kind of thing that will languish in the “to do” list of the Senate and die out?
    Afraid of the former, hoping for the latter, flabbergasted either way.

  17. Isn’t it ageist to have this only apply to children? I mean how many waitresses have had a drunk guy stare at them while they work.

    (my humor is very sarcastic so take it as me trying to be funny.)

  18. Yes, I too noticed it was from 3 years ago. I did a quick search and can’t find an update on it. Anyone in Maine know the real deal and if it’s currently on the books?

    This is, of course, a total outrage and beyond ridiculous. And a great way for the government to arrest someone on false charges and also be VERY apt to get sued. While this is probably a ” I know it when I see it” in regards to whether someone is straing lewdly at a minor or not, how does one uphold that in a court of law? I’m thinking the poorly dressed man with bad hygiene or too many gold chains and pinky rings would get busted way quicker than the well-dressed woman studying to be a fashion designer who was caught looking at a child (actually his/her clothes, but the child was in them). Not to mention the grandmotherly type enjoying reliving her youth while enjoying kids playing….

  19. And my question was answered in the time it took to post it🙂

  20. But on the upside, the RSS feed is fixed! Yay!

  21. I carpool to work. This morning we stopped to get coffee beforehand, and walking up the street was a mother and daughter who live in my apartment building. So I waved to them, and said to the guy I was carpooling with, “Hey, see that little girl? I just love her.”

    He said, “What are you, a pedophile?”

    I was shocked. He meant it as a joke, but it was the first thing out of his mouth. I had meant to tell a cute story about the little girl and my terrier, who are buddies, but instead I said, “No! No, god, she just lives in my building” and felt strangely defensive, and rather sad.

  22. “Intentionally engages in visual surveillance”. Does that mean “looking”?

  23. That covers a lot of behaviours. Perhaps they should have clarified a bit. Maybe “intentionally engages in visual surveillance with their tongue hanging out and a strange smile on their face”

  24. Okay, people should read Bill and/or Marie’s comments before commenting further. It seems like the news story Lenore is quoting VASTLY oversimplifies the situation and leaves out *the most important details.* There’s a surprise.

  25. So far as I can make out, this is the relevant law in Maine. It is obviously vague and presents considerable opportunity for misunderstanding, if not legal jeopardy.

    Title 17-A: MAINE CRIMINAL CODE
    Part 2: SUBSTANTIVE OFFENSES
    Chapter 11: SEX ASSAULTS HEADING: PL 1989, C. 401, PT. A, §1 (RPR)
    §256. Visual sexual aggression against child

    1. A person is guilty of visual sexual aggression against a child if:

    A. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire or for the purpose of causing affront or alarm, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, exposes the actor’s genitals to another person or causes the other person to expose that person’s genitals to the actor and the other person, not the actor’s spouse, has not in fact attained 14 years of age. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; [2005, c. 655, §1 (AMD).]

    B. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, exposes the actor’s genitals to another person or causes the other person to expose that person’s genitals to the actor and the other person, not the actor’s spouse, has not in fact attained 12 years of age. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime; [2005, c. 655, §1 (AMD).]

    C. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, intentionally engages in visual surveillance, aided or unaided by mechanical or electronic equipment, of the uncovered breasts, buttocks, genitals, anus or pubic area of another person , not the actor’s spouse and not having in fact attained 14 years of age, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from such visual surveillance. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or [2007, c. 688, §1 (AMD).]

    D. For the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the actor, having in fact attained 18 years of age, intentionally engages in visual surveillance, aided or unaided by mechanical or electronic equipment, of the uncovered breasts, buttocks, genitals, anus or pubic area of another person , not the actor’s spouse and not having in fact attained 12 years of age, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from such visual surveillance. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime. [2007, c. 688, §1 (AMD).]

  26. The existing law would seem to outlaw nudist colonies open to families with kids.

  27. This law has been around years. In fact, I have this and other insanity listed at my “You Might Be a Sex Offender” page on my website.

  28. The date might be wrong, but the relevance is right. Thanks to Lenore for giving this attention.

  29. The excessive protection-ism of children above sanity continues.

    LRH

  30. Just last week I was at a local beach in central Pennsylvania, air temp 65, water temp in the 50s. There was a group of kids swimming and I was watching them and grinning ear to ear. Watching their joy in the ‘extreme’ conditions I found life affirming. Of course, I could just be a pervert…..

    Luckily, I had my 2 daughters with me so I guess that made me ‘ok’, even though almost all perverted acts are performed by….relatives…

  31. “Who gets to decide what the difference between staring at and enjoying the antics of?”

    A cop, when it comes to the arrest. A jury of your peers, when it comes to the conviction.

    “not the actor’s spouse and not having in fact attained 14 years of age”

    So he can conduct sexual visual assault of his 13-year-old wife, then?

    I joke at that part of the wording but, as with the law in the other article earlier, this is * specifically worded to avoid covering casual, non-sexual looking at children * Again, I’m not saying I agree with the law, but, again, neither law is as radical as these blog posts imply. It isn’t going to apply to the guy watching a kid play in the surf for a minute or two. It’s going to apply to the guy standing at the urinal for 20 minutes staring at boys’ penises. Now, if we wanted to be more “free range,” instead of bothering with a law, a dad could just beat the shit out of the guy who does that, like it would have been done back in the 70’s when I was a kid, before everyone became so hung up on rules.

    You can decide which part I’m kidding about.

  32. What do you do if a kid is staring at you? I was at a rest stop restroom this weekend and this little girl – maybe 5 or 6 – was desperately trying to make eye contact with anyone – she couldn’t reach the sink to wash her hands. The other adults were ignoring her so when she looked at me, I said “oh honey, do you need some help?” She smiled and said “YES! I CAN’T REACH!” I lifted her up so she could wash her hands, she showed me her pretty dandelion she had picked and ran out on her way.

    The other women all commented on how cute she was. I said ‘yep, we all just need a little pick me up sometimes!’

    Sheesh! If this law had been in forced in Wisconsin, I wouldn’t have been able to look at her (I was in a public restroom after all) and she would have had to go on with germy hands!

    During that same trip, my friend was in the men’s restroom where a little boy was clearly having issues with his zipper but my friend was too terrified to be caught “molesting” a child that he pretended he didn’t notice. Poor kid.

  33. I haven’t researched Maine law but I find it hard to believe that it doesn’t already have peeping Tom and I.indecent exposure laws. That is all this is. Maybe this why the government accomplishes so little – they are too busy passing redundant laws.

  34. So, does the guy have to have a boner to be charged, or would this apply to my long haired husband who may be wondering if he needs to go in after my son who takes FOREVER to wash his hands? I mean, I stare at the bathroom door too, wondering what the heck he is doing in there. Sometimes I have sent in younger brother, who has long hair like his dad, which really upsets the guys in the bathroom until he explains he has the same equipment as them. (Sorry, he wants long hair like his dad.)

    But really, I want to know, because we actually do stare at the bathroom door when we are at the park or store, and we have good reason to do so.

  35. Okay this is going too far. I can possibly support taking pictures of kids thus why I discussed it at length on the last entry. But staring?! Really!?

    In that case I have about 200 men I want in jail for staring at me lewdly when I was under age and an adult. I have had some pretty gross starings in my time and while I found it gross and offensive, not much I could do about it except flip them off and leave.

    I don’t think you can prosecute someone for staring. How do you even prove something like that? Now if they follow you around and get in your personal space and stuff like that, I think that might constitute harassment but just sitting on a park bench watching children play is not wrong or should be against the law.

    If someone is being creepy about it, by all means, call a cop and have them ask the person to move it along. But prosecuting, no way.

  36. LOL Once some mom brought her like 10 year old looking boy into the women’s room with her. Her 7 year old looking boy too at a crowded movie theater. The 10 year old was staring at me while I peed through the crack between the stall wall and the door. I was totally grossed out and offended. That kid was WAY too old to be in the women’s room. Actually both of them were. It was not a bad part of town so they would have been pefectly safe standing outside the bathroom door for 5 minutes while the mom peed. Nope she brough them in with her and they got a free peep show.

    If I could have pressed charges against the mom just to make her not do that again then I would have. I made a comment to her while washing my hands about “Don’t you think they are too old to be in here?” and she looked at me like I had two heads. I am pretty sure the boy was aroused by the whole thing. I guess if I was a minor when this had happened this law would have applied?

  37. Interestingly enough, on PBS tonight there an American Experience program featuring the Civil Rights freedom riders.

    One man mentioned it was against the law for a black man to “eyeball” a white woman. he could be arrested, hurt or killed if accused of such “sexual agression”.

    The sex offender laws are dangerously mimicking the old Jim Crowe laws – in fact there is getting to be very little difference.

  38. Thanks to the folks who posted the actual laws.

    Apparently staring at the bathroom door wondering where your kids are doesn’t count, unless I guess the door is unclothed and under age.

    The guy in the original story was watching kids “enter the public washrooms”…so unless they took their clothes off before they got in there, seems he couldn’t have been arrested even after the change. So creeping people out is still legal in Maine. Are we still outraged?

  39. Yes, but while I am staring at the door at the park, kids are going in and out. How do they and their parents (unless I know them, which I probably don’t in an area with a population of 300,000) know that I or my husband is not looking at them? Hopefully the cops in the original quote asked the guy if he had someone in the bathroom, but they didn’t say. Given what happened to the two young men in the interview by Lenore, I am not sure that they would ask.

    And yes, the American Experience show about civil rights certainly struck a chord with me too. Also I keep thinking about this picture book that Stephen King did in the 80’s about the US being taken over by the Soviets and the first day of school. It was creepy how easily the new Soviet teacher was able to dismantle everything that patriotic American’s hold dear. As an 11th grader reading it, it made me understand that there is a lot more to our country than the pat patriotic figures that get thrown around at election time. But, it seems like we are slipping toward what Stephen King wrote in a slow slide that very few seem to notice.

    That something that Stephen King wrote might come true (in a twisted way as the Soviet Union is no more) is very, very scary.

  40. If Kafka was alive today, he would be making documentaries.

  41. ¿¡¿?!?
    Gosh, we really need to update ourselves down here… The way we deal with… what was it? “visual sexual assault”, right, is the good old-fashioned slap in the face and general booing by the bystanders until they chase the offender out.

  42. The picture at the end is what really sparked me. My dad (a FAMILY practitioner, and amateur shutterbug,) went to the park to take some photographs of nature and kids playing and having fun. Nothing specific, just on the jungle gym, playing ball, etc. A dad came up to him and demanded that my dad turn over his camera, then proceeded to call the police, who made my dad delete ALL the pictures from his camera, not just the ones of the kids. So that’s approximately 500 pictures that my dad took, gone. Ridiculous!

  43. […] A law is being proposed in Maine that will make it illegal for adults to stare at children. […]

  44. Fear FOR children will turn into fear OF children.
    “Mommy, that man was staring at me!”

  45. Their thinking basically goes “I don’t like what he’s doing but he’s not breaking any laws. Let’s make one up and arrest him for it.”

    What the hell is “visual sexual assault”? This country is going insane.

  46. Well there’s an unspoken “two second rule” that’s the difference between glancing and staring at women, so I wonder if it applies here as well?

  47. Susie I hope you are still reading this thread. I wanted to let you know that, from my understanding of things, the police office had no right to demand what he did, and your dad could’ve upped the ante to where the policeman ultimately would’ve been the one feeling the heat.

    Legally, your dad had every right to do what he did, the policeman was out of line, and while I do think we sue way too much in this country, this is a suit that I would file, odds are he will win it.

    Moreover, when did this happen? Has the camera been used again since? If not, image recovery is very easy to do. I have software (legal etc) which does exactly that–recover lost images deleted from a memory card. Odds are pretty good they can be recovered, especially if the camera hasn’t been used since (or more specifically, that particular memory card).

    I want to encourage you to tell your dad to NOT let this incident change him in anyway, in terms of no longer photographing whatever he feels (within reason) out of fear of a repeat incident. You have to stand your ground, or else the police and jackasses like the other dad will only make it seem the norm to label someone like your dad as a pedophile to be dealt with in this way.

    LRH

  48. I really find it hard to figure out how I am supposed to be injured by someone assaulting me with their eyeballs.

    Sure, getting gawked at can be uncomfortable. As a somewhat busty female in a male dominated field, I’ve had numerous occasions where guys seemed to forget where my face is. This did not cause me any permanent damage. If someone glances at me or mine with lust in their hearts, but doesn’t act on it, how am I supposed to know, and why am I supposed to care? Thought police much?

  49. It seems that people are blurring legal offenses with manners again. Starring at anyone young or old is rude. But it is not illegal. And should not be illegal. We cannot try to control some one’s thoughts. Whatever they do in their own head is their buisness and most of the time we have no idea what anyone is truly thinking. “Visual sexual assault” is ridiculous. This would never hold up in a court. “Evidence” would be circumstancial and not tangable and therefore not legit.

  50. God, that Parentdish story about the two boys is awful, and heartbreaking.

    I went to a conference on child protection online here in the UK a few weeks back and there was an interesting contrast in approaches… several speakers discussed ‘sexting’, when kids send one another sexual images of themselves. I was reminded of some stories on this site of kids who have found themselves on the sex offenders register in the US for making or distributing such images.

    In the UK, I was pleased to hear, no young person has (yet) been convicted this way – they have been warned it could have happened, but the police generally respond by talking to schoolkids about the issues rather than convicting them of a crime just because they can.

  51. What about if you’re noticing that a small child might be in danger and their parent isn’t watching? So someone might get arrested for watching a kid to be sure they don’t do something dangerous? It’s bad enough that once a friend and I got accused of trying to abduct a toddler when the mother was sitting at the bus stop reading a book. The kid decided to jump off the curb and into the street, and that’s when my friend and I grabbed the kid moments before a car drove by the curb.

  52. What if the guy was watching kids go in and out while waiting for his own kid to come out? When I am at the Phillies game and waiting for my boyfriend to come out of the mens room… I look at all the other guys coming out, waiting for one of the guys to be my boyfriend. Doe this make me some sort of voyeuristic pervert?

  53. I’m slightly less aghast after reading the excerpt of the law, but I still think the law is all kinds of scary. It’s most scary because, as someone above wrote, it’ll be initially the cops and then a jury who gets to decide whether an individual is a creep or not. Race, gender, class, physical appearance, and social skills will all influence people’s perceptions of the accused. And of course some people, men especially, are already afraid to interact with children for fear of being accused. Lots of children are being conditioned to fear adults and that’s not good for them either.

  54. @ Darlene: Of course it does! Don’t you know that one of those guys could be traumatized for life because a woman looked at them! Creep! /sarcasm off

    Reminds me of my dad’s tales of his little sister, who would whine “Moooomm! Johnny’s looking at me!” Grandma would mutter, “Johnny, quit looking at your sister.” without even skipping a beat or pausing in what she was doing. Her message was loud and clear: you can complain about being looked at, and it can be annoying, but I’m not going to actually do anything about it, so get over it.

  55. Sooooo, those of us with kids who tend to catch the public eye will have to keep them in solitary lest random members of the populace end up in jail for eyeballing them? This proposal is beyond counter-intuitive. I have identical twin boys. As an admittedly wildly biased mother, I think my little guys are the cutest thing ever. On a more objective level, identical twins are just uncommon enough to generate interest/comments whenever we go out. The fact that they tend to be good-natured, well-behaved and love to be helpful garners them that much more attention. They enjoy interacting with people and the thought of people being afraid to look at my little guys, much less coming up and talking to them, is both horrifying and heartbreaking.

  56. To quote the law as someone else posted it, we are talking about looking at “the uncovered breasts, buttocks, genitals, anus or pubic area of another person….under circumstances in which a reasonable person would expect to be safe from such visual surveillance”.

    That is not being leered at in your swimsuit. That is not staring at a bathroom door. That is not watching a charming toddler. That is not even vague. THAT IS BEING A PEEPING TOM! Free range or not — peeping is not ok. This law makes it a worse offense if you’re peeping at a child. I have absolutely no problem with that.

    I think many of the issues Lenore posts could be solved if we all remembered our manners, but not this one. I’m with the state of Maine.

  57. I have been to Ogunquit may times and I know exactly the bathrooms they are talking about. People stand there all the time waiting for rides (it’s right there in the parking lot next to the beach), spouses/friends/kids to use the facilitiies, etc.

    The thing about this law is it’s going to be very difficult to prove. Not to mention that it infringes on people’s privacy. Maine is kind of a nutty state….it tries so hard to be as liberal as Massachusetts but doesn’t have the funds to implement all the socialism—not that this law has anything to do with socialism.

  58. I swear Americans are a step away from putting kids in burkas and no man is not allowed out in public without a woman with him.

  59. I swear Americans are a step away from telling men they can’t leave the home without a woman with them, and all the kids have to wear burka’s.

  60. oops. double posting.

  61. I have identical twins who will be 2 in a few months. I could prosecute at least 5 people every time I leave the house. This is not counting the people I don’t see staring or making comments about my kids- as I try to pay attention to my kids or focus on the task at hand when out and tune these people out.

  62. […] A new law in Maine would make it illegal to look at kids in public. […]

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