Timothy Sprenger, Minot, pleads guilty to sexually abusing baby, toddler

Timothy Sprenger, 32, Minot, pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing two girls in Minot when they were babies and toddlers.

The crimes took place more than a decade ago, when Sprenger was in his late teens and had been babysitting the children.

He admitted in a written journal entry to molesting one of the girls more than 30 times when she was between the ages of 1 and 3. He molested the second girl when she was a six or seven month old baby. He ripped up the journal, but the torn pieces were discovered by a family member in Georgia when he was taking out the trash. The relative taped the journal entry together and turned the written confession over to police in Georgia, who then called authorities in Minot. Sprenger had been living with the family members in Georgia in 2017, when the crimes were reported. He had reportedly also mentioned abusing a third child, according to the probable cause affidavit, but he was charged only in connection with the two victims in Minot.

In his written confession, Sprenger admitted that he continued to have sexual fantasies about babies and toddlers.

He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two Class A felonies.

In return for his guilty plea, Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney Marie Miller said the state will withdraw its attempt to have Sprenger labeled a special dangerous offender, which would have allowed for an enhanced sentence. Sprenger had been scheduled to go to trial on the charges next month.

Miller said the state will recommend that Sprenger be sentenced to 20 years in prison for continuous sexual abuse of a child. The state would then recommend a suspended second 20-year sentence, consecutive to the first sentence, on the second Class A felony charge of gross sexual imposition. Sprenger would be on supervised probation after his release from prison, would be required to undergo sex offender treatment and to register as a sex offender.

Defense attorney Kyle Craig will argue for a lesser sentence.

The plea was made on an open plea basis, which means North Central District Court Judge Todd Cresap can sentence Sprenger to anything he chooses, up to the maximum possible sentence of 20 years on each charge, or 40 years in prison.

Cresap said he has not yet reviewed the evaluation done of Sprenger.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 7 before Cresap.