Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Maine

My husband and I live in Maine. Last night a police officer came to our door and indicated that our neighbor had filed a complaint against us for indecent exposure due to his being able to see our silhouettes through our bathroom window (window is IN our shower and covered with a privacy film for this purpose). We have lived in our home for five years and he in his for three and the same precautions regarding privacy have always been in place. At night, when the light is on and someone is in the shower you are able to see a figure, but in no way detail of the occupant of the shower. I am wondering what precautions beyond this I have to take or if I am truly in violation of any law by showering in my own home behind privacy film covered windows? Also, is there any law protecting me from being leered upon by a neighbor while showering?

Asked on 10/25/11, 5:13 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jerome Gamache Ainsworth Thelin & Raftice, P.A.

If the windows are covered as you state so that no detail is visible, it would be hard to find a jury or judge that would convict. Simply put, you are not exposing anything and even if one could argue that you are, you are not doing it with the intent to be seen from a public place or from another private place as the statute requires.

On the other hand, the neighbor is not technically violating privacy by leering at you unless he is using some device to see you with. His or her actions seem more like harassment (MRSA 17-A§506-A) in that they are seemingly engaging in a course of conduct that is meant to harass. I see that as a remote possibility but worth talking to local authorities about. If he is far enough away that the unaided eye does not afford a good view, then I would ask the officers to inquire of the complainant what he/she is using to “see you”.

Please feel free to call my office if you would like to discuss. Thank you.

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Answered on 10/27/11, 8:01 am

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