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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dickinson Man Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of Minors

BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on April 29, 2013, James O. Thompson, 41, Dickinson, N.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of sexual exploitation of minors. Thompson pleaded guilty to the charge on Jan. 10, 2013.

Judge Hovland sentenced Thompson to 25 years in federal prison, to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. Thompson was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Thompson was originally convicted in North Dakota for Gross Sexual Imposition in 1999. As a result of that conviction, Thompson was required to register as a sex offender. On Sept. 17, 2011, Thompson was arrested by state authorities for failure to register as a sex offender. During his arrest he was found in possession of a smart phone, which after search subsequent to arrest was found to contain numerous obscene images of a minor female. An investigation then revealed that from May 2011 through Sept. 2011 Thompson developed a relationship with a juvenile through text messaging. It was discovered that Thompson first met the juvenile at a fast food restaurant where he was employed and she was a customer and Thompson then contacted the juvenile, portraying himself as a like aged juvenile male, and he requested the juvenile send sexually explicit photos of herself to him.

The investigation was initiated by the North Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and was a cooperative effort of Homeland Security Investigations, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the North Dakota Parole & Probation Office, the Bismarck Police Department, with the assistance of the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office.

This case was brought as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme prosecuted the case.

Updated January 29, 2015