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North Dakota man gets 40-year sentence for sex abuse of minor in Madagascar

Investigators say Maurice Thill traveled to the African island nation of Madagascar in December 2019 and had sexual contact with a minor.

maurice thill.jpeg
Maurice Robert Thill.
North Dakota Sex Offender Registry photo
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BISMARCK — A 60-year-old man from North Dakota was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Tuesday, April 12, for charges related to a 2019 trip to Madagascar where authorities say he engaged in sex acts with a minor.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor sentenced Maurice Robert Thill, a registered sex offender from Mandan, on five charges: failure of a registered sex offender to report international travel, failure to update sex offender registration, possession of materials involving the sexual exploitation of children, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and commission of a felony offense involving a minor by a registered sex offender.

Thill pleaded guilty to these charges, and along with prison time, Traynor ordered Thill to pay $3,000 in restitution and serve a lifetime term of supervised release if he's ever let out of prison.

Investigators say that in December 2019, Thill flew to the African island nation of Madagascar without notifying authorities of his international travel plans, which federal law requires as part of his sex offender registration. When Thill returned to North Dakota in January 2020, he was arrested for failing to update his sex offender registration.

Authorities searched Thill's phone and found that he had been communicating with minors in Madagascar about sex through social media accounts, which he did not disclose to authorities. On his phone, investigators found multiple images of Thill engaging in sex acts with a minor in Madagascar and images involving the sexual exploitation of minors, according to prosecutors.

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Thill is a registered sex offender for convictions in 1990, 1991 and 2004, and he was civilly committed as a sexually dangerous individual between 2011 and 2017.

He was being held Wednesday at the Ward County Jail in Minot.

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