Minnesota

Population

5,489,594

Population 0‑18

23.4%

Internet Users

82.6%

Home Internet Subscribers

87.4%
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2016 - Schools within Minnesota are obliged by law to provide Internet filtering on computers which can be accessed by students. Filtering software is also mandatory on any public library computers which can be accessed by children. Many school districts have integrated Internet safety teaching into their curricula, usually in the teaching of Technology. Although individual school districts’ Technology Plans are not accessible centrally from the Minnesota Department of Education’s portal, they can generally be found on each district’s website. For example, both the Anoka-Hennepin Schools Technology Plan 2012 - 2016 as well as the South St. Paul Public Schools Technology Plan 2011-2015 contain a chapter titled ‘Internet Safety and CIPA Compliance’, detailing measures the districts have undertaken to protect their students from harmful online material. South St. Paul further specifies that they are devoted to developing the K-12 integrated curriculum to include units addressing Internet safety and etiquette, as well as establishing regular local training for parents.

2016 - The Minnesota Departments of Public Safety and Education operates a website called the Minnesota School Safety Center. Internet safety information is easily located on the Safety Links page, although it is under the heading of cyber-bullying rather than Internet safety.

2016 - The Minnesota Department of Education created an informational video about a Bullying Prevention Model Policy for parents. The video defines bullying, including cyberbullying, and ways that parents can prevent such behavior for their children.

2016 - MTS Minnesota Connections Academy offers a fully qualified alternative to public or private schools. They have online curriculums for grades K-12, full of online and offline resources from professional educators. The Connections Academy team works with publishers to create interactive lessons and tools for students to use, keeping them engaged.

This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

  • MS 125B.15 Internet Access for Students. Requires filtering software to be utilized on all computers in schools to which students have access, in order to prevent students from accessing material deemed harmful to minors under state or federal law. This section states that a school site is not required to purchase filtering technology if it would incur more than incidental expense in making the purchase. Schools receiving relevant funding, however, must comply with this section.

  • MS 134.50 Internet Access; Libraries. Requires all public libraries which allow computer use by minors under the age of seventeen to restrict access to harmful Internet sites/matter by means of filtering and/or software. This section states that a library is not required to purchase filtering technology if it would incur more than incidental expense in making the purchase. Any library receiving state funding must install filters and may remove from the library any person who bypasses the technology to access the prohibited sites/material. This section does not apply to university libraries.

  • MS 243.055 Computer Restrictions. This section allows parolees to be prevented from accessing the Internet if it is believed that they will use it to engage in criminal activity, or to associate with others who may encourage them to engage in criminal activity. The section allows the commissioner to prohibit them from possessing or using a computer which has Internet access without prior written permission. The offender may be required to consent to random spot-checks of their computer equipment – including the retrieval and copying of all data or removal of the equipment to enable a thorough inspection. The offender may be required to consent to the installation of monitoring software on their computer. They may also be required to keep a daily log of any websites that they access via their computer for any reason other than in the course of their work. The offender may be required to provide personal and business telephone records to their probation officer and to provide written permission for their service provider to provide records of all their outgoing or incoming calls.

  • MS 244.05 Supervised Release Term. Defines the length of time served on parole for various crimes and allows for conditional release time for sex offenders to be revoked if necessary. The section also covers the minimum prison term to be served for specific offenses before parole can be granted. It also states that the commissioner must consider any treatment undertaken by inmates serving life sentences before granting parole. The treatment of sex offenders is specifically mentioned in this section and offenders must have undertaken appropriate sex offender treatment. Offenders can be granted parole under intensive supervision and those deemed to be predatory sex offenders would fall into this category. Parolees may be required to submit their homes, computers or other electronic devices capable of accessing the Internet to unannounced searches. Sex offenders may be required to participate in a sex offender program as a condition of release. Convicted sex offenders may be prohibited from creating, accessing or maintaining web profiles, pages, accounts, password or user names for social networking sites or instant messaging programs where those under the age of eighteen are permitted to access the service.

  • MS 609.322 Solicitation, Inducement, and Promotion of Prostitution; Sex Trafficking. This section states, among other things, that anyone who solicits or induces another person to practice prostitution, promotes the prostitution, receives profit derived from the prostitution or its promotion, or engages in the sex trafficking of an individual, is guilty of an offense and liable to imprisonment for up to fifteen years and/or a fine of up to $40,000.

  • MS 609.342 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree. States that it is a criminal offense to engage in sexual penetration with a child under the age of thirteen where the offender is more than 36 months older than the victim. It is also a crime where the child is over thirteen but under sixteen and the offender is over 48 months older than the child and in a position of authority. The use of force is also covered in this section. The penalty for this offense is imprisonment for up to 30 years and/or a maximum fine of $40,000.

  • MS 609.343 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree. States that anyone who participates in sexual contact with a child under thirteen, where they are more than 36 months older or where the child is over thirteen but under sixteen and the offender is over 48 months older than the child and in a position of authority, is guilty of an offense and may be sentenced to up to 25 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $35,000.

  • MS 609.344 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree. Defines as a crime the situation where a person who is no more than 36 months older than a child under thirteen engages in sexual penetration with them. This section also covers the situation where the victim is over thirteen and less than sixteen and the offender is more than 24 months older but less than 120 months older and certain aggravating conditions exist. The penalty for this crime is up to fifteen years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $30,000.

  • MS 609.345 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree. States that it is a crime to engage in sexual contact with a child under thirteen where the offender is no more than 36 months older than them. It is also an offense to engage in sexual contact where the victim is over thirteen and less than sixteen and the offender is more than 24 months older but less than 120 months older than the child and certain aggravating conditions exist. In these situations the offender may be sentenced to up to ten years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $20,000.

  • MS 609.3451 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fifth Degree. This section states that a person is guilty under this section where they either engage in nonconsensual sexual contact or intentionally engage in masturbation or lewd exhibition of the genitals in the presence of a minor under the age of sixteen. The maximum sentence for this is one year’s imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $3,000.

  • MS 609.3453 Criminal Sexual Predatory Conduct. States that a person is guilty of criminal sexual predatory conduct if the person commits a predatory crime that was motivated by the offender’s sexual impulses. This renders the offender liable to an increase of up to 50% on the original sentence where they have a previous conviction. Furthermore, the court may impose a fine of up to $20,000.

  • MS 609.3455 Dangerous Sex Offenders; Life Sentences; Conditional Release. Defines the term ‘dangerous sex offenders’ as including the use of torture, a weapon or that more than one person engaged in the rape of a victim. The section details which offenses qualify for mandatory life sentences both with and without the possibility of future conditional release. Repeat offenders classified as ‘engrained offenders’ may serve double the sentence usually imposed for their crimes.

  • MS 609.352 Solicitation of Children to Engage in Sexual Conduct; Communication of Sexually Explicit Materials to Children. This section defines as an offense the situation where a person over the age of eighteen solicits a child under fifteen with the intent to engage in sexual conduct. This includes solicitation by use of the Internet or other electronic device. It is also an offense to distribute content that relates to or describes sexual conduct to a child. This is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of up to $5,000. A mistake as to age is no defense under this section.

  • MS 609.749 Stalking; Penalties. States that it is a criminal offense where a person commits any of the following acts: stalking, repeatedly sending electronic communications or manifests an intent to injure, among other acts. The offense is deemed to be a gross misdemeanor. Where the victim is under the age of eighteen and the offender is at least 36 months older, the sentence increases to a maximum of five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Where the act is committed with sexually violent intent against a minor the maximum sentence is ten years’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $20,000.

  • MS 609.795 Letter, Telegram, or Package; Opening; Harassment. States, among other things, that anyone who repeatedly mails or delivers by any means, including electronically, mail to another person with intent to harass, abuse, disturb or cause distress is guilty of a misdemeanor.

  • MS 617.23 Indecent Exposure; Penalties. It is defined as a gross misdemeanor where a person willfully and lewdly exposes their body parts, coerces another to do so or engages in open or gross lewdness or lascivious behavior in the presence of a minor under sixteen. Where this offense is committed by a recidivist, it is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. MS 617.241 Obscene Materials and Performances; Distribution and Exhibition Prohibited; Penalty. States that it is a criminal offense for a person to exhibit, sell or print any obscene material or to produce or direct an obscene performance. A person found guilty of this faces up to one year’s imprisonment.

  • MS 617.245 Civil Action; Use of Minor in Sexual Performance. States that there is the option of pursuing a civil action where a minor is used in a sexual performance.

  • MS 617.246 Use of Minors in Sexual Performance Prohibited. This section states that it is unlawful for a person to promote, employ, use or permit a minor to engage in posing or modeling in any sexual performance or pornographic work. The maximum sentence for this is ten years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $20,000 for a first offense and $40,000 for a second offense. A person who operates a business where such work is disseminated faces a term of imprisonment not to exceed ten years and the same fines as above. The dissemination of pornographic work featuring a minor is also prohibited. This felony is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment and the same penalties. It is no defense to a charge under this section that the minor consented to engaging in such a performance.

  • MS 617.247 Possession of Pornographic Work Involving Minors. States that anyone who disseminates pornographic work to an adult or a minor with knowledge that it involves a child may be sentenced to up to fifteen years’ imprisonment and a fine of $20,000 for a second offense, and seven years’ imprisonment plus a fine of $10,000 for a first offense. Where the offender possesses such material they face a prison term not to exceed five years and a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense or ten years and $10,000 for a second. The consent of the minor or his/her guardian is no defense to a charge under this section.

  • MS 617.293 Harmful Materials; Dissemination and Display to Minors Prohibited. States that it is unlawful for any person knowingly to sell or loan to a minor any picture, drawing, film etc which depicts nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse which is harmful to minors. It is also unlawful to exhibit this material where minors can see it. This is deemed to be a gross misdemeanor.

  • MS 617.294 Exhibition Prohibited. It is defined as an offense for any person knowingly to exhibit to a minor or to knowingly admit a minor to a place of public accommodation where there is exhibited a motion picture, show or other presentation which depicts nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors. This is punishable as a gross misdemeanor.