Grand Forks County correctional officer accused of sexual contact with inmate

He has not yet been arrested, but an arrest warrant was issued.


GRAND FORKS – A correctional officer has been accused of sexually abusing an inmate at the Grand Forks County Correctional Center.

According to an affidavit filed on Thursday, March 23, an inmate reported she’d had sexual contact with Correctional Officer Joseph Michael Hulst.

On Dec. 15, the woman gave a recorded statement. She said she had “been ‘cat calling’ or speaking in a sexual manner directed towards a correctional officer” working on the night of Dec. 3. She identified the correctional officer as Hulst.

Later that night, the woman “met [Hulst] at the secured door into the [woman’s] cell,” the affidavit said.

The woman reported that, on two separate occasions, Hulst opened the food slot door on her cell door during the night in order to have sexual contact, the affidavit said.


Surveillance footage showed Hulst opening the food slot three times, bringing “items to the cell door two out of the three instances,” the affidavit said.

The footage showed Hulst “reach[ing] inside the food slot opening three times,” the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, the woman could be seen on the other side of the door during all three instances.

Hulst was interviewed on Dec. 16, and “initially denied the allegations,” but later admitted to having sexual contact with the woman, the affidavit said.

Hulst is charged with Class C felony sexual abuse of a ward, which has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

An arrest warrant has been issued.

Sav Kelly joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 2022.

Kelly covers public safety, including local crime and the courts system.

Readers can reach Kelly at (701) 780-1102 or
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