Former North Dakota troopers avoid jail for groping woman

Ex-Sgt. Travis Skar and Lt. Steven Johnson pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

Former North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Steven Johnson, left, and Sgt. Travis Skar.<br/>
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BISMARCK — Two former state troopers will avoid jail time after pleading guilty in a groping case.

Ex-North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Travis Skar pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Burleigh County District Court to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Judge Bonnie Storbakken gave him roughly a year of unsupervised probation. He also must pay $250 in court fees.

The sentence was similar to that of Skar's former commander, Lt. Steven Johnson. Johnson pleaded guilty in April to the same charge.

The two state troopers who were based in Bismarck were charged with misdemeanor sexual assault in connection to 2020 incidents in Bismarck. Court documents alleged Skar groped a woman underwater in a hot tub at Johnson’s house.

Johnson was accused of touching the woman while she slept.


The Highway Patrol fired both men.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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