State Sen. Scott Cyrway is proposing legislation that would make it illegal for an educator to have sexual contact with any student, regardless of their age, following criticism of existing state law in the wake of the allegations against former Waterville Principal Don Reiter.

In an interview Wednesday, Cyrway, R-Benton, who represents Waterville, said a constituent asked him to submit the bill in reaction to the case of Reiter, who allegedly asked an 18-year-old female student to have sex with him at the beginning of the 2015 school year.

Under Maine law, it is illegal for an educator to have sexual contact with a student who is 17 years old or younger.

Reiter has been charged with official oppression, a misdemeanor charge, for allegedly abusing his power when he asked the student for sex. Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, when she announced the charge in November, said that her office would have charged Reiter with attempted sexual assault if the alleged victim was younger than 18. She questioned why state law included the cutoff of age 17.

It is illegal for an educator to have sexual contact with a student under the age of 18, and the general age of sexual consent in Maine is 16.

Cyrway said his bill would correct that oversight and offer protection to all students from a situation in which an educator could try to use their power to take advantage.

“I just want to prevent a situation, if it happens again, at least the student would be protected,” Cyrway said. There is no upper age limit in his proposal, he added. Some students that were kept back or start school late could be 18 years old or older and still in high school; those students should have the same protections as other students, Cyrway said.

The proposed bill is not intended to affect the charges in the Reiter case, but the episode highlighted the issue, he added.

Cyrway plans to pitch his proposal as an emergency measure to be considered by the Legislative Council at the State House on Thursday. If approved by the council, the proposal will be presented for possible adoption as a bill when the new legislative session starts in January.