If you or a loved one has been accused of a sex crime, you should know that the state of Minnesota is especially strict with sex offenders. From procedure to penalties, the state does not give an accused any advantages.

For example, state law does not require that the victim’s testimony be corroborated. It does not matter if the victim resisted, and it does not make a difference if the accused believed the victim to be older than he or she was. Further, the marital privilege does not apply in these cases: A spouse may take the stand and share information with the court that the accused believed would be confidential.

Note, too, that some convicted sex offenders may be required to submit to psychological tests, to give DNA samples and, of course, to register with the state. A conviction will follow an offender for at least 10 years, sometimes for life.

Something else about registration as sex offender or predatory offender (Minnesota’s term): Anyone who had anything to do with the crime will have to register. You do not need to be the person who actually committed assault. You may be convicted for aiding, abetting or conspiracy to commit the crime.

As far as crimes that require registration, it is important to remember that sex crimes are not limited to sexual assault. Under certain circumstances, the conviction may be for murder or kidnapping. Also included are convictions for indecent exposure, soliciting a minor or possession of child pornography — and that is not even the whole list.

If you are accused or at risk of being accused of a sex crime, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. If a loved one is in trouble, convince him or her to do the same. A conviction means more than jail time.

Source: Minnesota Practice Series TM, Criminal Law And Procedure, Chapter 51: Sex Crimes, Henry W. McCarr, Jack S. Nordby, November 2014, via WestlawNext

9A Minn. Prac., Criminal Law & Procedure § 51:1 (4th ed.)

9A Minn. Prac., Criminal Law & Procedure § 51:1 (4th ed.)

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