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Dad’s intervention leads to sex offender’s arrest

MINOT -- A report from a dad who discovered that a sex offender was trying to befriend his 14-year-old daughter on Facebook led to the offender's arrest this week. Minot police arrested Donald Carris Vandal, 65, Bottineau, after school on Monday ...

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MINOT -– A report from a dad who discovered that a sex offender was trying to befriend his 14-year-old daughter on Facebook led to the offender’s arrest this week.

Minot police arrested Donald Carris Vandal, 65, Bottineau, after school on Monday after he allegedly tried to meet with the girl.

Vandal is charged with luring minors by computer, a Class B felony, and sexual offender presence near schools, a class A misdemeanor.

Court records say a dad contacted Minot police last week after his daughter received a Facebook friend request from Vandal, a man she didn’t know. The dad took over the girl’s Facebook account with her knowledge and had a conversation with Vandal, learning that he was 65. The dad researched Vandal and discovered he was a registered sex offender.

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The dad then gave police permission to take over his daughter’s Facebook account and an undercover officer corresponded with Vandal for several days, posing as the 14-year-old girl.

Vandal allegedly asked for nude photos and asked about sex and personal information, court records say. Vandal also discussed meeting in person and suggested he pick up the girl from school.

Instead of meeting the girl in a school parking lot on Monday, Vandal met Minot police officers.

Vandal is required to register as a sex offender for a 1994 conviction in Ward County, according to the North Dakota Sex Offender Registry. Online court records did not list an attorney for Vandal on Tuesday.

Minot Police Capt. John Klug said officers trained in the Internet Crimes Against Children unit routinely follow up on tips from parents. Klug encouraged parents to help kids feel comfortable about coming to them about conversations they may have online.

“Stay involved and ask questions of who they’re talking to and what they’re talking about,” Klug said.

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