Registered Sex Offender from Mandan, ND, Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Crimes Related to International Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Acts with a Minor

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BISMARCK – Interim United States Attorney Nicholas W. Chase announced that on April 12, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor sentenced Maurice Robert Thill, Age 60 from Mandan, ND, to 40 years in federal prison for the charges of Count 1 – Failure of Registered Sex Offender to Report International Travel (18 USC 2250(b)); Count 2 – Failure to Update Sex Offender Registration (18 USC 2250(a)); Count 3 – Possession of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Children (18 USC 2252(a)(4)(B) and 2252(b)(2)) Count 6 – Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct with a Minor (18 USC 2423(b) and 2423(f)(1)); and Count 7 – Commission of a Felony Offense Involving a Minor by a Registered Sex Offender (18 USC 2260A). Judge Traynor also sentenced Thill to a Lifetime term of supervised release, $500 in special assessments, and $3,000 in restitution. Thill pleaded guilty to the above charges on August 12, 2021.

This matter came to the attention of law enforcement officials when in December 2019, Thill boarded a flight destined to Madagascar, Africa, without having previously notified sex offender registration authorities of his intention to engage in international travel as required by Federal law. Upon his return to the United States in January 2020, Thill was arrested on a related North Dakota State warrant for failing to update his sex offender registration. Thill’s cellular phone was seized and searched. Additional

investigation determined Thill had been communicating with minors in Madagascar about sexual activity using social media accounts he had failed to register as required by law. Authorities located multiple images involving the sexual exploitation of minors on the cell phone, including numerous images of Thill engaging in sexual acts with a minor in Madagascar, as well as communications referencing sexual activity with another minor in that country during a previous trip in 2019.

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Thill was a registered sex offender based on his convictions under North Dakota law for Gross Sexual Imposition in 1990, 1991, and 2004. He was also civilly committed as a Sexually Dangerous Individual between 2011 – 2017. He had last updated his sex offender registration on 12-13-2019, three days prior to his flight to Madagascar.

“HSI and our law enforcement partners are watching closely for indicators of child exploitation throughout our community, one of which may be an offender not adhering to mandated reporting requirements,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Jamie Holt of Homeland Security Investigations St. Paul “Today’s sentencing is a result of those partnerships and the watchful eyes of all the dedicated agents and officers involved in both this case and the defendant’s previous cases. I commend them all for their hard work.”

“This investigation is a great example of coordinated efforts by Federal, State and Local law enforcement officials and their determined efforts to protect the public from sexual predators,” said Interim United States Attorney Nicholas W. Chase, “and this sentence effectively ends defendant’s ability to victimize children.”

This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations; United States Marshal’s Service; North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation; Mandan Police Department; and the Diplomatic Security Service (State Department), and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office, with Assistant United States Attorney Rick Volk assigned to the case.

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