- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine prosecutors are more likely to bring stiffer charges for choking someone after lawmakers updated the definition for aggravated assault.

A Portland Press Herald (https://bit.ly/1piQAZi ) analysis found that the number of aggravated assaults charged by prosecutors increased 61 percent from 2011 to 2013. The number of times prosecutors charged defendants with showing extreme indifference to the value of human life jumped from 29 to 170 in 2013.

The choking language was added to the statute in 2012.

Julia Colpitts from the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence says the spike in aggravated assault charges was exactly what she’d hoped for. She says that for years, choking was not treated as seriously as victim advocates believe it should have been.


Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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