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Minnesota Court Records

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Minnesota Sex Offenses And Why They Are Different

Sex offenses in Minnesota are generally crimes that involve illegal sexual conduct as prescribed by the Minnesota laws. The nature of sex offenses may be coercive or other means such as harassments and the distribution or exhibition of obscene sexual materials. Sex offenses are serious crimes that are punishable by incarceration and fines, depending on the severity. Under the state laws, the Minnesota Judiciary imposes penalties on sexual offenders.

What is a Minnesota Sex Crime?

Sex crimes in Minnesota are usually regarded as criminal sexual conduct. Such criminal offenses mainly involve the sexual penetration of a victim, unlawful sexual contact, or display of obscene sexual materials. Sex crimes may include the use or threatened use of coercion, violence, or dangerous weapons that may result in bodily injuries to the victim. Also, other criminal sexual conducts include the victims’ lack of consent if they are minors or incapable of voluntarily consenting under state laws. Individuals who are mentally incapacitated or physically helpless cannot consent to sexual acts.

Sections 609.341 to 609.351 of the Minnesota Statutes covers the scope of criminal sexual activities in the state.

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?

Although Minnesota does not have specific laws that cater exclusively for each sexual offense, criminal sexual conduct is categorized into five degrees depending on the gravity of the sexual offense. They include:

Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree: Under Section 609.342 of the Minnesota Statutes, this crime occurs when there is sexual penetration or sexual contact with a victim under the age of thirteen. It may also involve the use of a dangerous weapon, the victim sustaining bodily injuries, and the actor of the crime aided by one or more accomplices. Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is punishable by incarceration up to thirty years and a fine not more than $40,000.

Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree: Section 609.343 of the Minnesota Statutes describes a person guilty of this sex offense if they engage in any form of sexual contact with the victim who may be under thirteen years of age or younger. Also, this crime involves circumstances where the offender uses a dangerous weapon, uses force or coercion to perform the sexual contact, causes personal injuries to the victim, or helped perform the sexual contact with an accomplice. Sex crimes in the second degree carry a penalty of up to twenty-five years of imprisonment and a fine of not more than $35,000.

Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree: This includes circumstances that involve sexual penetration when the victim is under thirteen years of age, and the offender is not more than three years older. Also, if the victim is at least between thirteen to fifteen years old and the offender is no more than twenty-four months older. Following Section 609.344 of the state law, such sexual conduct must involve the use of force and the offender’s knowledge of the victim’s mental or physical incapacitation. This offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to fifteen years with a fine of up to $30,000.

Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree: Offenders who engage in sexual contact with their victims are guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree if:

  • The victim is not up to thirteen years of age, while the offenders are not more than thirty-six months older.
  • The victim is at least fifteen years old while the offender is older by two years or more.
  • There is the use of force in the course of the sexual contact.
  • The victim is mentally or physically incapacitated.

Following the Minnesota statutes, offenders may be penalized with up to ten years imprisonment and payment of fines not more than $20,000.

Criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree: This involves partaking in non-consensual sexual contact, masturbation, or showing of genitals in public where minors under the age of sixteen are present. If classified as a gross misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to a year imprisonment and a fine of not more than $3,000. Offenders with prior convictions are penalized with the incarceration of up to seven years and a fine of up to $14,000.

Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Minnesota

In Minnesota, a risk assessment scale is used to determine the risk levels to which sex offenders will be classified. Factors used to determine risk levels include the severity of the offense, the offender’s criminal history, any indication that the offender may re-offend when released, and any physical conditions the offender has that may reduce the risk of reoffense. The three sex offender levels in Minnesota are:

Level I: Offenders in this category have a risk assessment level that projects a low chance of reoffense. Under the state laws, the law enforcement agency can disclose the offenders’ details to other law enforcement agencies and the victims of the offense.

Level II: The risk assessment score of level II offenders is considered to be moderate. The law enforcement agency may reveal the offense history of offenders to agencies and groups that the offenders are likely to have contact with.

Level III: Offenders in this category have a high risk of reoffense and the law enforcement discloses their offense history available to the general public.

How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in Minnesota?

Interested persons can obtain details of a sex offender in a particular location in Minnesota through the following means:

  • Law Enforcement Agencies: Under Section 244.052 of the Minnesota Statutes, the general public can obtain non-confidential information of sex offenders, especially if they are likely to encounter them.
  • Sex Offender Registry: The Minnesota Department of Corrections maintains and disseminates information on individuals who are required to register as sex offenders under Minnesota Statutes 243.166 or 243.167. Such offenders are also subject to public notification. The general public can access information concerning their offense history via the available means provided by the DOC.

Minnesota Sex Offender Registry

Under Section 243.166 of the Minnesota Statutes, predatory offenders registration is mandatory for individuals charged with certain sex-related crimes. The state requires sex offenders of all levels to register with the Department of Corrections. While the general public can obtain the offense history of registered sex offenders from the DOC, level III sex offenders’ information is also disclosed online on the Public Registrant Search tool. Interested individuals can search for offenders by names, county, city, and zip code. The information available in the Minnesota sex offender registry include:

  • Images of the offenders
  • Name and aliases of offenders
  • Date of birth
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Facial and physical features
  • Offense status and information
  • Registered address

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 Minnesota?

There may be some restrictions for sex offenders in Minnesota, depending on the severity of their crimes. Generally, sex offenders are required to register and update information about themselves, like their primary place of residence. The period of registration in Minnesota is ten years, but offenders who violate the registration requirements may get an additional five years. However, there are no provisions in the state’s registration law that permanently prohibits offenders from having contact with minors or living near a school except as a condition for parole or probation. Registrants that complete their parole/probation are no longer subject to such restrictions.

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