BISMARCK - Internet predators who solicit sex from minors and arrange a meeting should face at least one year in jail, the attorney general said Wednesday.

With a real Internet luring conversation on a screen behind him, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to offer amendments to Senate Bill 2248.

The bill defines North Dakota as having jurisdiction over out-of-state predators who solicit sex from a person believed to be a minor within the state. This includes Internet luring.

Under current law, luring a minor by computer is either a Class A misdemeanor or Class C felony, depending on the adult and child's ages.

Stenehjem proposes creating three penalty classes for the offense. The first would be a Class A misdemeanor for people younger than 22 who solicit minors ages 15 to 17. Other solicitation offenses would be felonies that would require at least one year in jail unless the adult did not take a substantial step towards meeting the minor.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

"I am not somebody who over the years has been a strong promoter of minimum mandatory sentences," Stenehjem said. "But there are cases where emergency measures are required, and I think this is one of them."