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Moorhead man accused of child sex crime faces federal trafficking charge

James Van Raden Jr., 47, was indicted Wednesday, April 21, in federal court on one count each of attempted sex trafficking of children and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. He also faces two counts distributing child porn.

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James Duane Van Raden

FARGO — A Moorhead man accused of trying to arrange for a young girl to have sex with him and spying on a child using the bathroom has been charged federally with attempted sex trafficking.

James Van Raden Jr., 47, was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday, April 21, in North Dakota federal court on one count each of attempted sex trafficking of children and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. He also faces two counts of distributing child pornography.

A criminal complaint filed last month details how West Fargo police allegedly caught Van Raden trying to pay $200 to sexually abuse a 10-year-old girl. The girl was a detective posing as a child.

Van Raden also told the detective he recorded and took pictures of a nude child in the bathroom through a hole in the door, according to a criminal complaint. He sent a screenshot of the child on the toilet to the detective, the complaint alleged.

Van Raden was initially charged in Cass County District Court with 10 felony counts of possessing certain materials prohibited by North Dakota law, but those charges were dismissed so federal prosecutors could take over the case.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended one count of coercion and enticement, but a grand jury added the other charges while adjusting the coercion and enticement count to attempted.

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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