MAINE

CHILD SEX ABUSE SOLs

CURRENT CIVIL SOL

Maine has no civil SOL for child sex abuse claims. A permanent revival window is now in effect and all previously expired claims against any defendant for child sex abuse can be filed at any time. 

CIVIL SOL SNAPSHOT

AGE CAP

NONE

DISCOVERY TOLLING

NONE

REVIVAL LAW

PERMANENT WINDOW

Changes Since 2002:

Age Cap: In 2000, Maine eliminated the civil SOL for child sex abuse.

Discovery:  In 2000, Maine eliminated the civil SOL so it has not had a discovery rule since that time. All claims for child sex abuse are revived in Maine regardless of how long ago the abuse happened or when a victim discovered his/her injuries. Therefore, Maine does not need a discovery rule.

Revival Law: In 2021, Maine opened a permanent revival window for all previously expired child sex abuse claims against perpetrators, other individuals, private organizations and the government. The window opened on October 18, 2021 and never closes. All previously expired claims in Maine are permanently revived without limitation. For a guide to help survivors understand their rights during the legal process of filing a civil lawsuit under Maine’s revival window, click the survivor tool kit below.

CURRENT MAINE CIVIL LAW

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14§ 752-C - Sexual acts towards minors

1.No limitation. Actions based upon sexual acts toward minors may be commenced at any time.

2.Sexual acts toward minors defined. As used in this section, “sexual acts toward minors” means the following acts that are committed against or engaged in with a person under the age of majority:

      A. Sexual act, as defined in Title 17-A, section 251, subsection 1, paragraph C; or

      B. Sexual contact, as defined in Title 17-A, section 251, subsection 1, paragraph D.

3. Application. This section applies to all actions based upon sexual acts toward
minors regardless of the date of the sexual act and regardless of whether the statute of
limitations on such actions expired prior to the effective date of this subsection.

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 853 - Persons under disability may bring action when disability removed

If a person entitled to bring any of the actions under sections 752 to 754, including section 752-C, and under sections 851 and 852 and Title 24, section 2902 and, until July 1, 2017, section 2902-B is a minor, mentally ill, imprisoned or without the limits of the United States when the cause of action accrues, the action may be brought within the times limited herein after the disability is removed.

Case law

CURRENT CRIMINAL SOL

In Maine, there is no criminal SOL for many felonies and misdemeanors where the victims are under the age of 16. For some sexual abuse felonies against victims age 16 and older the SOL is 20 years from the offense. Other felonies have an SOL of 6 years from the offense and 3 years for misdemeanors.

CRIMINAL SOL SNAPSHOT

OTHER FELNOIES

INCEST(victim under 16)

 No SOL Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(1)(B)

UNLAWFUL SEXUAL CONTACT (victim under 16)

No SOL Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(1)(B)

SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR (victim under 16)

No SOL Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(1)(B)

RAPE (victim under 16)

No SOL Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(1)(B)

GROSS SEXUAL ASSAULT (victim under 16)

No SOL Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(1)(B)

UNLAWFUL SEXUAL CONTACT (victim 16 and above)

20 years from offense Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(2-A)

GROSS SEXUAL ASSAULT (victim 16 and above)

20 years from offense Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(2-A)

OTHER FELONIES 

6 years from offense Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(2)

OTHER MISDEMEANORS

3 years from offense Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A § 8(2)

DNA SNAPSHOT

 

NO DNA STATUTE


Changes Since 2002:

In 2002, Maine had no criminal SOL for felonies and misdemeanors for victims under age 16 for: incest, unlawful sexual contact, sexual abuse of a minor, rape and gross sexual assault.  For victims age 16 and older the SOL for felonies was 6 years and misdemeanors was 3 years from the offense.  In 2013, Maine extended the SOL for victims ages 16 and older for felony unlawful sexual contact or gross sexual assault to 8 years, and, in 2019, extended it further to 20 years from the offense.

CURRENT MAINE STATE LAW

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 8 - Statute of Limitations

1.It is a defense that prosecution was commenced after the expiration of the applicable period of limitations provided in this section, except that the following prosecutions may be commenced at any time:

A. A prosecution for murder or criminal homicide in the first or 2nd degree; or

B. If the victim had not attained the age of 16 years at the time of the crime, a prosecution for incest; unlawful sexual contact; sexual abuse of a minor; or rape or gross sexual assault, formerly denominated as gross sexual misconduct.

2.Except as provided in subsection 1 or 2-A, a prosecution for a Class A, Class B or Class C crime must be commenced within 6 years after it is committed and a prosecution for a Class D or Class E crime must be commenced within 3 years after it is committed. A and B. Deleted. Laws 2019, c. 483, § 2, eff. Sept. 19, 2019. Text of subsec. 2-A, as amended by Laws 2019, c. 113, § C-57.

2-A. A prosecution for a Class A, Class B or Class C crime involving unlawful sexual contact or gross sexual assault must be commenced within 8 years after it is committed.

2-A. A prosecution for a Class A, Class B or Class C crime involving unlawful sexual contact or gross sexual assault must be commenced within 20 years after it is committed.

This subsection does not apply to a Class D crime enhanced to a Class C crime pursuant to section 1252, subsection 4-A.

3.The periods of limitations shall not run:

A. During any time when the accused is absent from the State, but in no event shall this provision extend the period of limitation otherwise applicable by more than 5 years; B. During any time when a prosecution against the accused for the same crime based on the same conduct is pending in this State; or C. During any time when a prosecution against the accused for the corresponding juvenile crime based on the same conduct is pending in the Juvenile Court. For purposes of this section, pending includes any appeal period and, if an appeal is taken, any period pending its final disposition.

4.If a timely complaint, information or indictment is dismissed for any error, defect, insufficiency or irregularity, a new prosecution for the same crime based on the same conduct may be commenced within 6 months after the dismissal, or during the next session of the grand jury, whichever occurs later, even though the periods of limitations have expired at the time of such dismissal or will expire within such period of time.

5.If the period of limitation has expired, a prosecution may nevertheless be commenced for:

A. Any crime based upon breach of fiduciary obligation, within one year after discovery of the crime by an aggrieved party or by a person who has a legal duty to represent an aggrieved party, and who is not a party to the crime, whichever occurs first; B. Any crime based upon official misconduct by a public servant, at any time when such person is in public office or employment or within 2 years thereafter. C. This subsection shall in no event extend the limitation period otherwise applicable by more than 5 years.

6.For purposes of this section:

A. A crime is committed when every element thereof has occurred, or if the crime consists of a continuing course of conduct, at the time when the course of conduct or the defendant’s complicity therein is terminated; and B. A prosecution is commenced whenever one of the following occurs: (1) A criminal complaint is filed; (2) An indictment is returned; or (3) Following waiver of an indictment, an information is filed.

7.The defense established by this section shall not bar a conviction of a crime included in the crime charged, notwithstanding that the period of limitation has expired for the included crime, if as to the crime charged the period of limitation has not expired or there is no such period, and there is evidence which would sustain a conviction for the crime charged.

Case Law

The information provided is solely for informational purposes and is not legal advice. To determine the Maine SOL in a particular case, contact a lawyer in the state.

Last Updated: April 21, 2021

IT'S EASY TO DONATE TO CHILD USA

                                               

CONTACT US

info@childusa.org

215.539.1906

3508 Market Street

Suite 202

Philadelphia, PA 19104

 

 

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: CHILD USA, 3508 MARKET STREET, Philadelphia, PA, 19104. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact