I know we like to pretend that North Dakota is such a safe state to live, but we need to open our eyes. The evil that exists "out there" is here, too. And is it just me, or do sex crimes seem to be happening all too often in our state? No, I'm not talking about consensual sex workers getting busted, I'm talking about crimes with victims.

My original idea for this story was to rant about our screwed up justice system, because, last week alone, there were stories in North Dakota (Bismarck, specifically) about punishments not fitting their crimes. These are the stories (two about sex crimes, one about drug trafficking): a Bismarck man who drove over, kidnapped, and threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend, got three years probation. Read about that here and here. Then, a Bismarck man who was charged with felony rape, got his charge knocked down to a misdemeanor. His victim even got THREE minutes of audio during her rape. The man will spend 180 days in jail with a year of probation AND won't have to register as a sex offender. Read about that here. Meanwhile, a Minneapolis man who had a "drug dealer's equivalent of a department store" in his car got 15 years in federal prison. But nowhere in this story did the drug trafficker have a victim. Read more about that here.

Now, I have another story to add to the messed up events that have happened recently. Valley News Live in Fargo is reporting that a Moorhead man was arrested and charged with "patronizing a minor for commercial sexual activity, luring minors by computer, and promoting a sexual performance by a minor." The report says that the West Fargo Police had a fake ad on Craigslist, looking for pedophiles. This person allegedly tried to RENT a 10-year-old for sex, among other things. Read more of the disturbing details here.

Now, the person in the last story only just got arrested. So, time will tell what happens when more details roll out. I just hope that there is true justice in this case.

Real people in our North Dakota communities are suffering beyond comprehension from the traumas caused by their sexual abusers. But it seems like drug crimes are worth harsher sentencing than sex crimes. Which is beyond shocking to me. I know that I don't have a solution, but light sentences for sex crimes is a slap in the face to the victims. Why are North Dakota sexual predators getting minimal consequences for their brutal crimes?

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