Surprising Charges That Can Make You a MN Sex Offender

In general, those who are convicted as sex offenders face many obstacles in society. They are seen as the worst of the worst, and people assume a lot about a person simply because their name is on a sex offender registry.

Many people mistakenly assume that child pornography or child rape are the charges that lead to sex offender registration. However, the truth is that, in Minnesota, there are many different types of crimes that can land you on the sex offender registry.

While this registry is crucial to the safety of the public, it’s time that people truly understood the less serious offenses that can land your name on the sex offender list. Read on to find out about some of the charges that can make you a Minnesota sex offender.

Minnesota Sex Crimes

The state of Minnesota has ruled that when a person is convicted of certain sex crimes, they must register as a sex offender with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. For those who are convicted of the following crimes, registration is required:

Felony Indecent Exposure

When someone exposes their genitals to someone under the age of 16 and has been convicted for it previously, or they’ve exposed their genitals to a victim while restricting their movements or confining them, then it’s felony indecent exposure.

Solicitation of a Minor for Sex

If anyone attempts to lure a minor into sexual activity either in person or over the internet, then it’s a sex crime.

Minnesota Sex Crimes Lawyers

Child Pornography

Anyone who possesses, receives, distributes, or produces material that is sexually explicit and involves anyone under the age of 18 can be convicted of this crime.


If a person is intentionally taken from a place or moved against their will by threats of force or force, then the perpetrator can be charged with this crime. Another crime that is related to this is false imprisonment, where someone is detained or fined without legal justification against their will.

Use of a Minor in a Sexual Performance

This sex crime involves authorizing, consenting, or employing a minor to take part in a sexual performance.

Criminal Sexual Conduct

This is also called sexual assault or rape and occurs when sexual touching, the attempt to remove clothing, or sexual penetration is committed against a victim without their consent. This also includes those victims who are not legally able to give their consent, such as those who are mentally disabled or a child.

These crimes are heinous, no doubt, but it’s not unheard of for someone to be charged and convicted of a crime that falls into one of these categories that may not be as terrible as you may assume.

For example, some people have been placed on sex offender registrations for indecent exposure because they were nude in public or minors who engage in sex together. The point is: there are many stories behind the crimes that are committed and not everyone on the sex offender registry is out to do great harm to society.

How Long Must Sex Offenders Register?

In the state of Minnesota, those convicted of sex offenses must be on the registry for a period of 10 years. In cases where someone is sentenced to probation for a period longer than 10 years, they have to register for the entire length of their probation.

For aggravated sexual offenses, or repeat offenses, a person will be required to register for life.

What If Someone Fails to Register?

Failing to register as a sex offender when someone has been ordered to do so by the court can have major consequences. It is considered a crime in and of  itself. Every time someone fails to register, they can have five years added to their period of sex offender registration. They can also be sentenced to up to one year of imprisonment for a first offense and two years for subsequent offenses related to the failure to register.

Failure to register doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t register at all. It can also mean that a person:

  • Didn’t submit the proper forms
  • Didn’t report changes to their statuses such as an address change or employment change
  • Failed to register with local authorities upon entering Minnesota
  • Visited Minnesota for longer than two weeks and did not register

Sex offenses can be truly terrible, but not all who commit them deserve to be written off and taken out of society. Being registered as a sex offender is public, and it can form an obstacle to employment, housing, and even travel. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone deserves a second chance, especially after their debt to society has been paid.


About the Author:

A former Assistant Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial District in Duluth and former staff attorney for the Indian Legal Assistance Program, Brent R. Olson is an experienced trial lawyer who has appeared in every Courthouse in the Sixth Judicial District and taken over three dozen cases to verdict. At LaCourse, Poole & Envall, Mr. Envall focuses on family law, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense. He has a strong belief in restorative justice and helped to develop the Domestic Violence Restorative Circles program.