North Dakota Sex Offender Records

What is a Sex Offender?

The term “sex offender” is a common term used to describe any person charged and convicted of illegal sexual behavior. The State of North Dakota treats sex offenses as serious crimes and describes the acts that may make a person a sex offender in the state laws. Also, the North Dakota Court System ensures the swift delivery of justice on offenders and imposes certain punishments on these offenders.

Penalties for sex offenses in North Dakota range from misdemeanors to full-blown felonies. They may attract prison sentences between less than a year in jail to life imprisonment, depending on the circumstances of the crime. The State of North Dakota also requires convicted sex offenders to register as such, and the state imposes certain restrictions on where an offender may live or work.

Who is Considered a Sex Offender in North Dakota?

The North Dakota Century Code does not define the term ‘sex offender’ but makes provisions for certain crimes that can impose the sex offender tag on a person. It also defines certain acts that may amount to sex offenses, like deviate sexual act, which means any form of sexual contact with a dead person or animal.

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses in North Dakota?

Chapter 12.1-20 of the North Dakota Century Code provides for the recognized sex offenses in North Dakota, and they include:

Gross Sexual Imposition: Section 12.1-20-03 provides for the offense of gross sexual imposition and describes it as a crime that occurs when a person engages in sexual acts with a victim or causes the victim to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact under the following circumstances:

  • Where the criminal compels the victim by force or threat of imminent death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping, to submit to the act(s)
  • Where the criminal uses intoxicants, like a controlled substance, to substantially impair to control the victim’s conduct and prevent resistance
  • Where the criminal knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the victim is unaware of the sexual act
  • Where the victim is below the age of 15
  • Where the criminal knows or has reason to believe that the victim has a mental disease or defect that makes such a victim incapable of understanding the nature of the act

If the criminal inflicts serious bodily injury and is up to 22 years old at the time of the crime, the offense is a Class AA felony. The minimum sentence is 22 years in prison, with probation to follow right after. North Dakota courts may deviate from the mandatory sentence where the courts would impose manifest injustice and where the criminal admitted to the crime and cooperated with law enforcement. However, judges in North Dakota may not impose a sentence of fewer than five years in prison. If the victim dies due to the crime, the law demands that the maximum penalty of life imprisonment without parole be imposed, unless the criminal was a juvenile at the time of the offense.

Continuous Sexual Abuse of A Child: Section 12.1-20-03.1 describes this offense as one that occurs where a culprit engages in three or more sexual acts or sexual contacts with a minor who is below 15 within a period of three or more months. If the culprit is at least 22 years at the time of the offense, it is a Class AA felony, and the court may not defer the imposition of sentence. Where the culprit was below the age of 22 at the time of the offense, it is a Class A felony.

Sexual Imposition: Under Section 12.1-20-04, a culprit commits this offense where the culprit engages in a sexual act or sexual contact with a victim or causes the victim to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact in the following circumstances:

  • Where the culprit makes the victim submit by using threat or coercion to make the victim incapable of resisting
  • Where the culprit engages in a sexual act or sexual contact with a victim as part of an induction, initiation, pledge, or some other ritual to become part of a criminal gang, whether it is consensual or not.

In North Dakota, sexual imposition is a Class B felony.

Corruption or Solicitation of Minors: Section 12.1-20-05 covers this offense and defines it as under the following designations:

  • Where an adult culprit engages in, solicits with intent to engage in, or makes another engage in sexual acts with a minor. If the victim is a minor, 15 years old or older, it is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Where an adult culprit solicits with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor below the age of 15 or makes another do the same to a minor that is 15 or older, and the culprit is at least 22 years old. Corruption or solicitation of minors under this circumstance is a Class C felony.

Where a culprit violates the first designation within 50 feet of or on the property of a school, such a culprit is guilty of a Class C felony. If an adult culprit violates the second designation within 50 feet of a school, such a culprit is guilty of a Class B felony.

Luring Minors by Computer or Other Electronic Means: Section 12.1-20-05.1 stipulates that an adult culprit commits this offense when:

  • The adult culprit knows that a certain communication is sexually explicit and uses a computer communication system or some other electronic means to initiate such communication with a person that the adult culprit believes to be a minor
  • Due to the communication, the adult culprit importunes, invites, or induces a person that the adult culprit believes to be a minor to engage in a sexual performance or sexual conduct for the benefit, satisfaction, lust, passions, or sexual desires of the adult culprit.

Any person that commits this offense in North Dakota is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if the adult culprit is below 22 years of age and reasonably believes the minor to be between the ages of 15 to 17. Where the adult culprit is below the age of 22 and reasonably believes the minor to be below 15 or the adult culprit is 22 or older and reasonably believes the victim to be between the ages of 15 to 17, the violation is a Class C felony. If the adult culprit is 22 years old or older and reasonably believes the victim to be under 15, the violation is a Class B felony.

Any adult convicted of a Class B or C felony for committing this offense shall serve an imprisonment term of at least one year. Still, the court may reduce the sentence to less than a year where the adult culprit did not make any attempt to meet the minor.

Sexual Abuse of Wards: Section 12.1-20-06 provides that a culprit commits this offense where the culprit engages in a sexual act with another or makes another to engage in a sexual act with a person that is in official custody or detained in a hospital, prison, or other institution where the culprit has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim. In North Dakota, sexual abuse of wards is a Class C felony.

Sexual Exploitation by Therapist: Under Section 12.1-20-06.1, this offense occurs when a person presents to be a therapist and intentionally has sexual contact with a patient or client during any treatment, consultation, interview, or examination is guilty of a Class C felony. The consent of the client or victim, in this case, is not a defense. The North Dakota Century Code defines a therapist in this section as “a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, nurse, addiction counselor, member of the clergy, or another person, whether licensed or not by the state, who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy.”

Sexual Assault: Section 12.1-20-07 describes sexual assault as an offense that occurs where a culprit knowingly engages in sexual contact with a victim or causes another person to have sexual contact with the victim in the following circumstances:

  • Where the culprit knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the contact is offensive to the victim
  • Where the culprit knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the victim has a mental disease or defect which makes the victim incapable of understanding the nature of the culprit’s conduct
  • Where the culprit used intoxicants or controlled substances to induce resistance in the victim
  • Where the victim is in official custody or detained in a hospital, prison, or other institution and the culprit has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim.
  • Where the victim is a minor of 15 years old or younger while the culprit is the victim’s parent, guardian, or responsible for the general care of the victim’s welfare
  • Where the victim is a minor of 15 years old or older, and the culprit is an adult.

In some circumstances where the culprit violates some of the above provisions and is at least 22 years old, it is a Class C felony. Where the victim is a minor and the culprit is at least 18 and not 22 or older, it is a Class A misdemeanor.

Fornication: Under Section 12.1-20-08, this offense occurs where a culprit engages in a sexual act in a public place. The law designates it as a Class A misdemeanor. If the perpetrator is a minor, it is a Class B misdemeanor unless the act was committed against the minor.

Adultery: Section 12.1-20-09 describes the offense of adultery as one that occurs where a married person engages in a sexual act with a person that is not the spouse of that married person. In North Dakota, this is a Class A misdemeanor offense, and only the spouse of a culprit can institute a complaint. The prosecution cannot commence an action when the time passed is over a year from the commission of the offense.

Incest: Under Section 12.1-20-11, an individual commits the offense of incest where the individual intermarries, cohabits, or engages in a sexual act with another person related to the individual within a degree of consanguinity. And the individual knows that the other person is related to the individual. North Dakota law describes the offense of incest as a Class C felony.

Surreptitious Intrusion: Section 12.1-20-12.2 describes this offense as one that occurs where a culprit does any of the following, with the intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify the culprit’s lust, passions, or sexual desires:

  • Enters another person’s property and surreptitiously gazes, stares, or peeps into the house or dwelling place of that other person with the intent to intrude or interfere with the person's privacy.
  • Installs or uses a device to observe, photograph, record, amplify, or broadcast sounds or events from the house or dwelling place of another
  • Surreptitiously stares, gazes, or peeps into a tanning booth, hotel room, or any other place the victim expects to have privacy, with the intent of interfering with the privacy of the occupant.
  • Installs a listening or any recording device into such a place where the victim expects some level of privacy

In North Dakota, the offense of surreptitious intrusion is a Class C felony.

Sexual Extortion: Under section 12.1-20-12.3, a culprit commits the offense of sexual extortion where:

  • The culprit with the intent of coercing a victim to engage in sexual contact, sexually explicit conduct, simulated sexually explicit conduct, or to produce or distribute any image, video, or recording of that conduct or any other intimate material of the victim, demands money or threatens the victim with the release or distribution of such material.
  • The culprit makes a victim engage in such sexual acts to demand money or threaten the victim with the release of such recorded material.

Sexual extortion in North Dakota is a Class B felony in some circumstances and a Class A misdemeanor in some other circumstances, depending on the facts of the case.

Bigamy: Under section 12.1-20-13, this offense occurs where a culprit marries a person when already married to another person. Such a person is guilty of a Class C felony in North Dakota. However, it does not apply to circumstances where:

  • The spouse of the person has been absent for five successive years and is believed to be dead.
  • The spouse of the person is voluntary away from the United States for five successive years.
  • A competent court pronounces the former marriage of a person void, null, or dissolved.

Deviate Sexual Act: The offense of deviate sexual act is any form of sexual contact with a dead person or animal. And section 12.1-20-12 provides that where a person performs deviate sexual acts with the intent to arouse or gratify a sexual desire, such a person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

What Types of Sex Offenders Exist in North Dakota?

The US Department of Justice established the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), but not all states have implemented it, and North Dakota is one of those states. For instance, the federal guidelines recommend an offense-based tier classification which North Dakota does not use.

The State of North Dakota classifies sex offenders under three categories, depending on the conviction of the culprit, criminal records, and other evaluations. The three risk levels classification in North Dakota are:

  • Low-risk
  • Moderate risk
  • High-Risk

Low Risk: Sex offenders in North Dakota who belong to this category have a low possibility of committing a similar offense in the future. North Dakota laws require these offenders to register for a minimum of 15 years, once a year, and in the birth month of the offender.

Moderate Risk: Moderate risk assessment level in North Dakota applies to sex offenders with a medium risk of committing a similar offense again. The law demands that these offenders register for a minimum of 25 years, twice a year, in February and August.

High Risk: In North Dakota, high-risk offenders are the most likely to commit another sexual offense. Most offenders that belong to this category have committed more than one offense or have exhibited behaviors that contribute to this elevated level of risk. North Dakota law requires such offenders to register for life four times a year - in January, April, July, and October.

The State of North Dakota is lenient on sex offenders and does not impose permanent classifications on them. A classification can change over time after the state assesses the sex offender to determine if there is a need to change the risk level of that offender. A team of professionals consisting of experts from the Attorney General’s office, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR), juvenile services, and other criminal justice entities review each offender’s history and other relevant documents to assign a risk level to the individual. Where a sex offender has more than one conviction, such an offender must register for life, regardless of the assigned risk level.

How to Find a Sex Offender Near Me in North Dakota

Section 12.1-32-15 of the North Dakota Century Code makes it a requirement for sex offenders in the state to register with law enforcement and for the public to have access to such information. Law enforcement discloses such information to ensure public protection in circumstances where the sex offender may pose a public risk. Individuals may search the registry of offender information to find out when a sex offender is nearby.

Interested persons may also search the National Sex Offender Public Website, which the Department of Justice manages. The site provides general access to citizens to find sex offender information, such as the identity and location of all registered sex offenders in all 50 states in the US.

Members of the public may also obtain public record information from third-party websites. These privately owned sites typically host data culled from public databases and repositories. However, the information available on third-party sites may vary since they are independent of government sources. In order to use a third-party site, record seekers may be required to provide all or some of the following information:

  • The full name on the record of choice
  • The last known or current address of the named individual
  • The address of the requestor

What Happens When You Register as a Sex Offender in North Dakota?

North Dakota laws do not restrict where all registered sex offenders may live or work. However, under Section 12.1-20-25 of the North Dakota Century Code, a registered sex offender found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor or felony sexual offense against a minor may not enter a school building unless to vote or attend an open meeting. The only exception is where the school adopts a written policy that allows such a person entry. A violation of this prohibition is a Class A misdemeanor.

In North Dakota, low or moderate-risk offenders are not prohibited from living near schools, parks, or daycare facilities, unless prohibited by the conditions of probation. Yet, a high-risk offender may not live within 500 feet of a preschool, elementary, middle, or high school.

Before leaving a correctional facility, a sex offender must complete registration papers showing the address of where the offender will live. The offender must then take these papers to the local law enforcement agency within three days of arriving at the new location. Where there is an intended change of residence, such an offender must file a change of address form and notify law enforcement at least ten days prior to changing location. Out-of-state offenders visiting North Dakota are also expected to register.

Where an offender fails to comply with these requirements, it may attract a warrant for failure to register, and a first offense is a Class C felony.

What is the North Dakota Sex Offender Registry?

The North Dakota Sex Offender Registry holds and maintains the records of registered sex offenders in the state. Also, the registry updates its website that is open for public viewing but restricted only to high-risk level sex offender information. The registry contains the following information on registered sex offenders:

  • A signed statement from the convicted offender
  • The fingerprints of the registered sex offender
  • A photograph of the registered sex offender
  • Blood and fluid samples of the registered sex offender
  • The address of the place of residence, school, or employment of the offender

On the registry, individuals may run searches through any of the following ways:

  • List of all offenders
  • Detailed search
  • Map offenders search
  • Delinquent offenders search

The State of North Dakota makes a public list of registered offenders available, free of charge. The institution in charge updates this information in real-time and every day with updates from local law enforcement, the Department of Corrections, Parole and Probation, and the courts. To generate a report, visit the list of offenders on the registry website, select a city, county, or the ‘all offenders’ button. Click search and view the list that pops up.

To carry out a detailed search, visit the detailed search portal to search for high-risk offenders. Provide the offender’s first name, last name, and city. Also, choose whether to search only incarcerated offenders or exclude such offenders. Where an individual does not know all of these details, the individual may choose any of the alphabets at the bottom of the screen to search for offenders with last names beginning with that alphabet.

The “map offenders near me” feature allows individuals to see the location of sex offenders within a certain proximity to a fixed address. To carry out this search, provide the address of a home, school, or local park, then choose a city and radius and search.

The ‘Delinquent Offenders’ page then lists delinquent offenders that have been recently located to put members of the public on notice.