A Portland man with a long history of public masturbation and other crimes was arrested Wednesday morning after police found him “engaging in indecent conduct,” in plain view of rush-hour traffic on Brighton Avenue.

Steven Ricci, 59, was arrested and charged with indecent conduct and visual sexual aggression against a child under 14 after several drivers saw him on his front porch just before 9 a.m., according to Portland police. 

When officers arrived at the scene following a 911 call, they found Ricci wearing nothing but his shoes, police said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, he was being held at the Cumberland County Jail on $500 bail.

Ricci, who has cerebral palsy, has been convicted of more than a dozen crimes since 1990, including assault, disorderly conduct and violating conditions of release.

For years, law enforcement officials have expressed frustration about the justice system’s inability to stop Ricci’s pattern of conduct.


“Our concern for the community is, we don’t have the resources or the ability to watch him 24 hours a day,” Lt. Scott Pelletier told the Press Herald in 2012 after Ricci’s third arrest for public masturbation that year.

Ricci’s former attorney, J.P. DeGrinney, complained at the time that the state was not doing enough to treat his client and that sending him to prison would fail to address his underlying issues.

In September 2015, Ricci himself wrote to the Press Herald shortly before he was scheduled to be released from the Maine Correctional Center and said that he feared he would re-offend because he hadn’t received help controlling his sexual urges.

“I tried getting sex offender treatment while I was incarcerated, but the administration wouldn’t allow me to,” the letter read. “They just didn’t want to deal with me the whole 24 months I was here.”

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