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AUGUSTA, Maine

Maine bill targets exploitation of elders

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With the nation’s oldest population, Maine is finding that the abuse and financial exploitation of seniors is a problem. A bill before the Legislature would address that by closing a loophole and clarifying the law to protect elders who might be victimized. The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on the bill, which on Wednesday got the support of House Speaker Mark Eves, Democrat of North Berwick. Under Maine’s current law, perpetrators are often able to avoid prosecution because of the appearance of consent by the victim. The bill would clarify the law by linking levels of criminal penalties to the amount of loss or extent of harm suffered by the victim.

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