Nine protesters who were arrested when they refused to leave U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ Portland office in early December won’t be prosecuted for criminal trespass, the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

The DA’s office announced the decision when the nine, all of them religious leaders, were due to show up in court on the charges.

In return for the decision not to prosecute, the nine donated $100 each to a victims’ compensation fund, said Tamara Getchell, a spokesman for the DA’s office.

Collins’ office was contacted earlier in the week about the decision and agreed to the resolution, Getchell said.

“The District Attorney handled this fairly and efficiently,” Collins’ spokeswoman said in an email Thursday.

The Portland demonstration was among a wave of protests in Collins’ Maine offices as the Senate was considering a massive tax reform and tax cut package. The Portland protesters said the bill would lead to the loss of health insurance coverage for millions of Americans and most of the tax savings in the plan would benefit wealthier Americans.

Collins said she was undecided on the measure before eventually voting in favor.

The nine stayed in Collins’ office well past its closing time on Dec. 7 and the senator’s staff left and locked the door behind them late in the afternoon. The protesters were arrested without incident just before 8 p.m. by Portland police.

Collins was in Washington at the time and did not meet with the protesters in person, although she did speak with them by phone while the group was in her office’s waiting area.

Collins voted in favor of the bill after it was amended to preserve some state and local tax deductions, the threshold for deducting medical expenses was reduced and catch-up contributions to retirement accounts by some public employees and employees of churches and charitable groups were restored.

The tax bill also eliminated the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act, which requires people to either buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Collins, who earlier last year voted against repeal of the ACA, said she was also promised votes on measures to stabilize the health insurance markets, but those votes have not yet taken place.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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