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Dorgan: Case shows need for a national sex offender registry

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – Senator Byron Dorgan says the kidnapping case involving a Fargo resident and an Idaho family again points up the need for a national sex offender registry.

Joseph Duncan -- who lived in Fargo -- stands accused of kidnapping. He earlier faced a molestation charge in Minnesota, but was free on bond.

Dorgan has introduced legislation to do that. He calls it "Dru's Law," after UND student Dru Sjodin -- who was abducted from a parking lot at a Grand Forks mall. Sjodin's body was found near Crookston. A level-three sex offender is charged with her kidnapping.

Dorgan says he was in Fargo several weeks ago to talk about "Dru's Law." He says to prepare for the meeting, he looked at the state Attorney General's Web site for sex offender registration -- and saw Joseph Duncan's name and information. He says he referred to Duncan during that meeting.

"This is not a stranger," said Dorgan. "We knew who this person was. And one of the things I'm trying to understand is -- why was Duncan free at all?"

Dorgan says Congress needs to create that national registry -- and needs to pass a law to allow level-three sex offenders to be civilly committed -- if there is a good chance that the person may commit another, similar crime.