Wednesday, House Democrats argued in opposition to LD 250 “An Act To Increase the Penalty for Aggravated Sex Trafficking” sponsored by Rep. Trey Stewart of Presque Isle. This bill seeks to increase the crime of aggravated sex trafficking to a Class A crime allowing a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Current law only classifies it as a Class B crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
On the floor of the House this morning, Democrats argued against the bill, opting to support leniency for sex traffickers. One Democrat, Rep. Lois Reckitt of South Portland, stood up to announce she was flipping her vote on the bill after originally supporting the measure with her vote in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. After announcing their vocal opposition to the bill and support for lighter sentences for those who would engage in sex trafficking, House Democrats voted along party lines to table the bill for the third time.
“Aggravated sex trafficking is among the most heinous crimes imaginable. This bill simply puts more teeth in the law and allows for harsher punishments when someone is convicted of this atrocious act,” said Rep. Stewart. “The vocal opposition to this bill from the House Democrats is shameful and appalling. I strongly urge them to reconsider their position when this bill is finally brought back up for a vote.”