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Maine Stabbing Illustrates Fetal Homicide Laws and Domestic Violence Limits

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An argument on social media between couples turned into a physical altercation that ended with a pregnant woman getting stabbed. While the charges being levied against the defendant are steep – and would likely have been more severe if the incident happened outside of Maine – they are not going to be domestic violence offenses because the alleged victim and assailant are not related closely enough to each other.

Pregnant Woman Stabbed During Dispute in Maine

Based on the initial reports, the incident all happened over the course of several hours on June 23, 2019, in Parsonsfield, Maine.

Two couples – one couple was married, the other couple was engaged to be married – got into an argument on social media. Threats were made in the arguments and they all decided to meet in person at a local store. There, the arguments continued and eventually turned into a physical fight between the two men.

Apparently, when the fiancée of one of the men intervened, the pregnant wife of the other man started to fight with her. As the fiancée and the pregnant wife tussled, the fiancée pulled out a knife and stabbed the pregnant woman in the abdomen.

The pregnant woman was rushed to the hospital, and her condition is unknown.

The fiancée was arrested and charged with elevated aggravated assault. Her next court date is in mid-October.

Fetal Homicide Laws in Maine

Murders, or homicides, are defined as intentional killings “of another human being.”

Fetal homicide laws are statutes that explicitly extend the meaning of “another human being” to include an unborn fetus.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 38 states that have enacted fetal homicide laws.

While Maine is not one of those states, it does have another offense – elevated aggravated assault on a pregnant person under 17-A Maine Statute § 208-C. This statute makes knowingly causing a pregnant person “serious bodily injury” a Class A crime. Such a “serious bodily injury” includes – but is not necessarily limited to – injuries that result in the termination of the pregnancy.

Domestic Violence and Family or Household Members

While it seems relatively trivial when compared to the allegation of elevated aggravated assault on a pregnant person, the situation also illustrates just where Maine’s domestic violence laws begin and where they end.

Crimes only become charged as domestic violence crimes if they are alleged to have been committed against “family or household members” under 19-A Maine Statute § 4002(4):

  • Parents of the same child
  • People who are or who were sexual partners
  • Spouses or domestic partners, or former spouses or former domestic partners
  • People who currently or formerly lived together
  • Children living with the defendant
  • Adult blood relatives.

While the altercation here had the appearance of a domestic violence situation, none of these relationships seem to exist. As a result, any ensuing charge would not be deemed one of domestic violence and would not have any of the numerous collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction on the table.

Domestic Violence Defense at MCD Group

The Portland Maine criminal defense lawyers at MCD Group, represent people who have been accused of domestic violence throughout Maine, including Portland, Saco, and Biddeford. Contact MCD Group online or call our law office at (207) 571-8146.


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