Minnesota Sex Crimes Attorneys

Child sex crimes include a wide variety of different acts. They include but are not limited to child molestation, child pornography, statutory rape, and solicitation of a minor. Our team of experienced sex crimes attorneys know the law and the best defenses for those charged with a sex crime. We have prepared this guide to help you understand the charges against you and what the consequences may be.

Facing a child sex crime charge is daunting, and the stigma associated with a these charges lasts a lifetime - even when you are not convicted. North Star Criminal Defense has accomplished child sex crime attorneys that aggressively fight for you and work hard to clear your name. We have proven success in overcoming these allegations, and know how to thoroughly investigate the state’s case and work towards a favorable resolution. When we take your case, we will evaluate the nature of the accusations, as well as your account of what occurred in order to build the best defense possible. The consequences of a conviction are severe and depending on the crime, include the requirement to register as a sex offender. We work to avoid this outcome and have charges dropped if possible, protecting your personal and professional reputation.

1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

The most serious sex crime, this involves sexual penetration involving a number of various scenarios, including sexual conduct with a victim under 13 years old, often with the use or threat of force or violence. For this to be charged, the accused must be three years older than victim if they are under the age of 13. If the victim is 13-16 years old, 1st degree criminal sexual conduct may only be charged if the accused is four or more years older and in a position of authority over the victim.

  • The penalty for a conviction is up to 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine.

2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This involves the same scenarios as a first-degree, except the act is sexual contact, not penetration.

  • The penalty for a conviction is up to 25 years in prison and/or a $35,000 fine.

3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This involves sexual penetration, like the first-degree, but involves different scenarios, such as the victim being mentally impaired or incapacitated.

This would also be charged if the victim is between the age of 13 and 16 and the actor is more than 24 months older than the victim or if the victim is between the age of 16 and 18 and the actor is 48 months or older than the victim and holds a position of authority.

  • The penalty for a conviction is up to 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.

4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

It involves the same scenarios as third-degree, but the act is sexual contact, not penetration.

  • The penalty for a conviction is up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

Age of Consent

The age of consent in Minnesota is 16 as long as both parties are at least that old and neither actor is an authority figure. In that instance, the age of consent is raised to 18. Positions of authority include, but are not limited to priests, teachers, relatives, or any person acting in the place of a parent and charged with any of a parent's rights, duties or responsibilities to a child.

Many of the crimes listed below may also be known as statutory rape. Consent is not the defining issue in these cases, merely the fact that one of that actors was underage or one of them was an authority figure. Statutory rape is usually punished less severely than non-consensual crimes of the same degree because of this.

Statutory Rape

Any form of sexual act with a minor under the age of 16, even if they consent, or under the age of 18 if the adult is in a position of authority over them. Positions of authority include parents, family members, ministers, teachers, or any relationship where someone has power over the young person.

Minnesota has in place what's called a 'Romeo and Juliet' law that permits sexual acts between individuals close enough in age that are between 13 and 16. This is to prevent both parties from being charged with statutory rape. The window is generally 24 months, but for a specific number look to the crimes we've listed above.

Child Pornography

Covered by Minnesota Statutes 617.246 and 617.247. This includes exploiting children for use in explicit media or the possession or sale of pornographic images/videos of children. It has no bearing whether or not you knew the material included under age actors, it is the fact that you possess it that matters.

With the spread of media, this is becoming a more common crime as cameras and the means to spread media are available virtually everywhere. Teenagers can often be caught up in this when they send other teens images of themselves or others via these devices. A teenager sending an image of themselves to a boyfriend or girlfriend could incriminate both parties for violating child pornography laws. Simply receiving an unsolicited image without reporting could land you in trouble too.

Solicitation of a Minor

Stalking or soliciting sex with minors under 16 years old via the internet or other means, or enticing them to engage in sexual conversation is a felony offense in Minnesota.

Neither mistake of the age of the victim or discovery that an undercover law enforcement officer was involved in the detection is a defense if you've been charged. The max penalty for this crime is three years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,000.


A conviction of any of the above sex crimes will undoubtedly force you to register as a sex offender. This registration typically lasts for 10 years from the completion of the sex crime conviction sentence. The offender must provide a fingerprint and a photograph taken at the time of release from jail/prison. Registration then requires any addresses they may reside at or owned, addresses of place of employment, addresses of possible schools they may be attending, and all vehicle information. This information must be continually updated while the person is on the sex offender registration list. Law enforcement agencies will continue to check in to ensure that your information is accurate. Failure to register is a serious offense in Minnesota and may carry a felony sentence of five years imprisonment.

North Star Criminal Defense - Professional Sex Crimes Attorneys

At North Star Criminal Defense, we respect who you are as a person and understand that these allegations may be completely false. We are respectful of you and always aggressive, fighting for your right to due process of law and the presumption of innocence. Due to the nature of a sex crime charge, many times the accused is presumed to be guilty before any investigation or evidence is presented in court. We will fight on your behalf to force the prosecution to meet their burden of proving the crime occurred, and will present a vigorous defense on your behalf.

For many sex charges, statements of the victim are central to the case, and we will investigate the background, circumstances, and allegations to ensure that there is verifiable evidence of a crime.

Because even the accusation of a sex crime can carry consequences, it is important to get us involved immediately, even during pre-charge stages if you are the subject of an investigation. Your liberty, reputation, and future are all at stake. Contact the sex crimes attorneys at North Star Criminal Defense now so that we can be your legal ally in facing this very challenging time.