Moorhead man accused of sexually abusing child at private day care

Joseph Thompson could face 25 years in prison.


MOORHEAD — A Moorhead man has been accused of sexually abusing a young child at a private residential day care.

Clay County prosecutors filed on Wednesday, Aug. 11, a second-degree felony charge of criminal sexual conduct against Joseph Ryan Thompson, 21. The charge alleged he engaged in sexual contact with a young child between January 2013 and July 1, 2014.

The child, who was less than 10 years old at the time of the alleged abuse, claimed Thompson touched her inappropriately in the backyard when they were “playing house,” according to court documents.

Police confirmed Thompson was not an employee of the day care, which was not named in court documents. The day care has since closed, a criminal complaint said.

Thompson initially denied knowing the child and the allegations, but then acknowledged touching and kissing the child, court documents alleged.


Thompson faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 19. Court records did not list an attorney for Thompson.

Joseph Ryan Thompson, 21

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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