AUGUSTA – The Maine Senate will consider a victims’ rights bill that supporters say would make it easier for victims to strip their attackers of parental rights to children conceived as a result of rape.

State law says a man convicted of rape can be stripped of parental rights to children conceived during the crime. Bill sponsor Bill Diamond, a Windham Democrat, says the standard of proof is too high.

The Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary endorsed the bill by a count of 10-1 last week. The next step is for an initial vote by the Senate.

Diamond’s bill would allow victims to petition the court to terminate their attackers’ parental rights without a criminal conviction by presenting “clear and convincing evidence” that the child was conceived as a result of rape.