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Rep. Ken Fredette, spouse Cyndi Fredette (center) and event organizer Kelley Gay gather at the finish line after completing the First Annual Amy, Coty and Monica Memorial 5K Race/Walk in Dexter on Aug. 21. Some 700 participants took part in the event to raise awareness of domestic abuse.
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Maine House Republicans
Room 332, State House
2 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0002

Phone: (207) 287-1440

For Immediate Release

Date: 08/29/11

Rep. Fredette Seeks to Amend Maine's Criminal Bail Code for Domestic Violence Cases

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ken Fredette has submitted the title of a bill to amend Maine's bail code to require consideration of domestic violence when setting bail for alleged criminals. He said details of the legislation are still under development, but it will likely include provisions regarding whether a suspect has a history of domestic violence or other violent acts.

The measure, "An Act To Amend the Maine Bail Code to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence," may be deliberated by lawmakers during their Second Regular Session, which is scheduled to begin in January. Its acceptance for consideration rests upon the decision of legislative leaders.

Rep. Fredette (R-Newport), a practicing attorney, said he began working on the legislation following the brutal murder of a woman and two young children in Dexter on June 13.

"We must do more as a people and as a state to protect all victims of domestic violence, especially young children," he said. "While it is important to maintain the presumption of innocence and the right of the accused to due process, we must also recognize that domestic violence is often related to homicide in Maine."

In 2010, Maine recorded 5,117 domestic violence assault cases.

The Maine bail code includes provisions that require a judge to "ensure safety of others in the community" and to "ensure the integrity of the judicial process."

"The inclusion of domestic violence in our bail code would make certain that bail bondsmen, judges and law enforcement officials consider this critical factor in cases related to domestic violence," Rep. Fredette added. "It is the duty of our Legislature to protect those who are most vulnerable." ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445