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ND Laws and Sex Offender Registry

Child Abuse and Neglect Laws

Child abuse and neglect is defined in Chapter 50-25.1 of the North Dakota Century Code: “It is the purpose of this chapter to protect the health and welfare of children by encouraging the reporting of children who are known to be or suspected of being abused or neglected; the providing of adequate services for the protection and treatment of abused and neglected children and to protect them from further harm; the identifying of the cause of children’s deaths, where possible; the identifying of those circumstances that contribute to children’s deaths; and the recommending of changes in policy, practices, and laws to prevent children’s deaths.” 


Child Sexual Abuse Laws


In North Dakota, a person can be charged with a serious crime if he or she engages in a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor. The seriousness of the crime and the penalties are even greater if the minor is under 15 years of age.

The following is what North Dakota law defines as a sexual act:

  • intercourse
  • oral sex
  • anal sex
  • use of an object
  • digital penetration

The following is what North Dakota law defines as sexual contact:

  • touching of sexual or other intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or satisfying sexual or aggressive desires


Sex Offender Registry


The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a division of the Attorney General’s Office, maintains the statewide sex offender and offenders against children registration system.

Registerable Offenses: Offenders must register in North Dakota if they have pled guilty to or been convicted of certain criminal offenses. A person must also register if that person has pled guilty or ‘nolo contendere’ to, or been found guilty of, an offense in a municipal court or a court of another state or the federal government, which is equivalent to those offenses. The registration statute is found in N.D.C.C. §12.1-32-15.

Offenders against Children: Individuals convicted of crimes that are not sex offenses but which involve, for example, force against or restraint of a child, are required to register as an “offender against children.” Offenders against children are listed on the state’s offender registry but are not sex offenders.

Juvenile Requirement to Register: A juvenile offender may be required to register if the offender has been convicted of, or plead guilty or ‘nolo contendere’ to, an offense under N.D.C.C. §12.1-32-15. A juvenile offender’s information is listed on the offender registry only if the offender is high risk, delinquent, or has a lifetime requirement to register.

Criminal Offenses: Visit the North Dakota Century Code for a list of the different offenses for which registration is required.

For more information, please visit the N.D. Attorney General's Sex Offender website.