MN Sex & Predatory Offenders: Elements of Criminal Sexual Conduct

The Elements of Criminal Sexual Conduct

Minnesota law classifies criminal sexual conduct into five categories: first- through fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Each degree of the crime covers a variety of behavior, with first-degree carrying the most severe penalties and fifth-degree the least severe. Generally speaking, the first-degree and third-degree crimes apply to sexual conduct involving sexual penetration of the victim; the second-, fourth-, and fifth-degree crimes apply to sexual conduct involving sexual contact with the victim without sexual penetration.

The elements of the criminal sexual conduct crimes also vary with respect to a number of other issues. For example, criminal sexual conduct in the first and second degree typically apply to conduct involving personal injury to the victim; the use or threatened use of force, violence, or a dangerous weapon; or victims who are extremely young. Criminal sexual conduct in the third, fourth, and fifth degree typically address less aggravated conduct and apply to other situations in which the victim either did not consent to the sexual conduct, was relatively young, or was incapable of voluntarily consenting to the sexual conduct due to a particular vulnerability or due to the special relationship between the offender and the victim. Minn. Stat. §§ 609.342 to 609.3451.

The appendix contains detailed charts describing the specific elements of each degree of the criminal sexual conduct crimes.


CREDIT: The content of this and any related posts has been copied or adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Sex Offenders and Predatory Offenders: Minnesota Criminal and Civil Regulatory Laws, written by Legislative Analyst Jeffrey Diebel.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Criminal and Civil Regulatory Laws Regarding Sex Offenders and Predatory Offenders.