Former Fargo school worker pleads guilty to sex with 14-year-old

Video showed the boy and Ruthie Carlson having sex, smoking marijuana and holding guns, according to court documents.

Gavel Court Crime Courts
Cass County Jail photo
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FARGO — A former Fargo Public Schools employee accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to three felony charges.

Ruthie A. Carlson, 20, entered guilty pleas Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Cass County District Court to gross sexual imposition, possessing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with intent to deliver or manufacture, and child neglect.

Ruthie Carlson.
Cass County Jail photo

Felony charges of promoting a sexual performance by a minor and possession of certain materials prohibited by North Dakota law were dismissed.

Carlson is slated to be sentenced March 20.

The charges stemmed from an investigation into the former Ben Franklin Middle School lunch employee that started in December 2021. Police looked into a Snapchat video circulating at the school that showed a shirtless boy brushing his teeth with the caption “Good morning (expletive),” according to a criminal complaint.


The video then showed Carlson showing her bare legs and wearing a T-shirt while she brushed her teeth, the complaint alleged.

One child told police there was a challenge to see who “could get with” Carlson, a criminal complaint said.

The complaint also alleged Carlson injured her 2-year-old child and that police found marijuana paraphernalia and THC vape cartridges in her apartment, which the child would have had access to. THC is the main psychoactive element in cannabis.

Police found many videos, pictures and “alarming things” on Carlson’s phone after confiscating it, the complaint said. That included video showing the 14-year-old and Carlson having sex, smoking marijuana and holding guns, the complaint said.

Video also showed Carlson talking about getting pregnant with the boy, the complaint said.

Court records alleged Carlson had sex with the boy on Dec. 1, 2021, that the child neglect happened Oct. 1, 2021, and that she possessed THC on Jan. 25, 2022.

The Fargo School District determined Carlson violated a number of policies and she was fired Dec. 20, 2021, according to the complaint.

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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