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North Dakota Sex Offenses and Why They are Different

Sex-related offenses in North Dakota are serious crimes as far as the criminal code of the state goes. An important reason for this is the aftermath of suffering that most victims of sex crimes undergo. Many of them never recover from the physical or emotional damage that the incidents caused them. For this reason, the North Dakota Century Code defines sex crimes and allocate penalties in a manner that ensures that sex offenders face collateral damages for their actions. Sex crimes rate high in terms of severity, while sex crimes against children are much more severe and face stiffer penalties.

What is North Dakota Sex Crime?

All sexual activity that violates North Dakota laws makes up sex crimes. They comprise setting consensual acts that the law disallows, deviate sexual acts, and sexual violations, especially against children. North Dakota’s state definitions of sex crimes are in line with federal definitions and interpretations. Therefore, either of them can prosecute a sex crime in North Dakota.

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?

A key consideration in grading sex offenses is the involvement of a child and the offender’s age relative to that of the child. For a 15-year-old victim, the criminality lies in whether the offender is at least three years older than the minor. However, all sexual offenses against children less than 14 years of age are severe crimes. Below is a list of sex offenses in North Dakota:

  • Sexual imposition: engaging in sexual acts or contact with another under compulsion or as part of a process to becoming a member of a society or as a pledge. The law Classifies it as a Class B felony.
  • Gross sexual imposition: engaging in a sexual act with another person either with the use of force, threats, impairing the consciousness of the victim, or taking advantage of the incapacitation of the victim. It is a Class A felony. If the victim dies, the penalty is life imprisonment without parole.
  • Corruption of minors: refers to attempts or actions to solicit another’s participation to engage in a sexual act or contact. If the victim is 15 years and older, then it is a Class A misdemeanor. If the offender is at least 22 years of age, it is a Class C felony.
  • Enticing minors using a computer or other electronic means: all actions and attempts to lure a minor into some form of sexual activity or contact with the use of electronic devices is a Class A misdemeanor, provided the offender is less than 22 years of age. If older, the law interprets it as a Class C or B felony depending on the adjoining issues. This felony would attract a prison term of at least one year or less if the offender did not take steps towards a physical meeting with the minor.
  • Persistent sexual abuse of a child: persistent abuse involves sexual activities or contact with a minor for three months and above. It is a Class A felony.
  • Incest: it is a Class C felony in North Dakota when an individual engages in a sexual act with someone related to them.
  • Sexual abuse of wards: it is a Class C felony when an individual engages in sexual activity with someone officially placed under their authority, permission, or care.
  • Sexual assaults: all forms of sexual activity or contact with another person that is offensive. It features the offender as an opportunist taking advantage of the victim’s vulnerability either by age, mental impairment, or subordinate position. Their definitions range from Class A misdemeanors to Class C felonies.
  • Indecent exposure: exposure of private parts in public comes under this category. The presence of minors or prior offenses escalates it to a Class C felony.
  • Surreptitious intrusion involves all attempts and acts of invading another’s privacy with the aim of sexual gratification. They are Class A misdemeanors. Repeat offenses scale it up to a Class C felony.
  • Fornication: engaging in sexual activity in a public place is a Class B misdemeanor
  • Adultery: sexual acts with a person other than a spouse
  • Deviant sexual act: performing a deviate sexual act for the purpose of arousal or gratification is a Class A misdemeanor.

Sex Offender Levels of Classification in North Dakota

The North Dakota authorities assess a sex offender based on risk level. A committee set up by the Attorney General is responsible for this assessment. The committee uses psychological evaluations, actuarial risk assessment tools, and all supporting documentation in the offender’s past.

Below is a sex offender Classification for the state:

  • Low-risk: low-risk offenders are usually persons who are first offenders with milder sex offenses. Low-risk offenders must register for 15 years, once every year continuously from conviction or release from incarceration, whichever is later.
  • Moderate risk: this category of persons is under watch. A repeat offense after being rated moderate will determine if they will get regraded to a high-risk sex offender. The registration time frame is 25 years, twice every year.
  • High risk: refers to those who statistically are most likely to commit another sexual offense. High-risk offenders have previous records of sex offenses and other supporting behavior that show they could repeat it. High-risk offenders register for a lifetime, four times every year. Also, the following crimes attract a lifetime registration sentence:
  • Repeat felony sexual offenders or offender against children
  • Gross sexual imposition involving a child victim or kidnapping
  • Civil commitment as a sexually dangerous individual under the laws of the state or the Federal government

Note that reassessments go on regularly that can lead to changes in risk levels assessment for sex offenders.

How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in North Dakota?

Arrests reports in law enforcement agencies across North Dakota contain information about persons arrested for sex offenses. However, these reports are not conclusive since some arrests never lead to charges or convictions. Visit the law enforcement agency in the area and request to look up the list of registered offenders. Most county sheriff departments have an electronic register that is accessible online. The electronic register usually provides a map that allows users to locate offender residences in their neighborhood.

North Dakota Sex Offender Registry

The North Dakota sex offender registry combines all city and county registers in one statewide central database. Anyone wishing to use it has access to all persons registered with the state. The Office of the Attorney General maintains the sex offender’s registry in North Dakota. A search for an offender will yield full information and photos of high-risk offenders but no images for moderate and low-risk offenders. Some juvenile sex offenders are not visible. For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Office in person or call 701 328–2210.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are the Sex Offender Restrictions in North Dakota?

All persons who have received a conviction for a registrable sex offense in North Dakota must notify the law enforcement agency in the area within three days of arriving at a new location and ten days before changing residence, employment, or School. Incarcerated persons usually complete registration papers before their release. Homeless offenders must update details of their movement with the law enforcement agency where they are staying every three days.

North Dakota rules do not restrict low risk or moderate risk sex offenders as per where they live or work. High-risk offenders come under such restrictions, such as not allowed to live within 500 feet of a public or non-public school up to the 12th grade. However, a sex offender does not have permission to be on school property unless given a right of access by the school board or for other reasons such as a public meeting attendance or voting. Although the state does not encourage employers and landlords to discriminate against sex offenders, there are no anti-discrimination laws regarding sex offenders.

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