Williston Police Department Active Child Abuse Investigation
On March 14, 2023, at approximately 1:40 a.m., the Williston Police Department responded to a local medical facility in response to a report of suspected child abuse.
When law enforcement arrived on scene, they were notified that a female infant, Jane Doe, approximately 5 weeks in age, was at the time receiving medical treatment.
Jane Doe was accompanied by her parents. Law enforcement was notified by medical staff that there were multiple contusions to Jane Doe’s brain consistent with non-accidental trauma. Medical staff observed Jane Doe to have one or more brain bleed(s) and determined that Jane Doe needed to be flown to an out-of-town medical facility for life saving measures. The status of Jane Doe is not being released at this time.
Through further investigation, the Williston Police Department has identified Jacob Luman, Jane Doe’s father, as a suspect.
The Williston Police Department has arrested Lumen for Class A Felony Child Abuse-Victim Under 6 Years, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years and/or a fine of up up to $20,000. Luman is currently in the custody of the Williams County Correction Center.
The investigation is currently on-going, and more information may be released as it becomes available.
Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect
- TO REPORT, call the statewide toll-free Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Line 1-833-958-3500, between 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday (7 a.m.– 4 p.m. Mountain Time)
- A dedicated team of specialized child protection intake professionals will answer and gather all needed facts so local CPS workers in the human service zones can act more quickly to protect children.
- Please know that calls to local human service zone offices to report suspected child abuse and neglect are rerouted to the centralized Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Line.
- IMPORTANT: If it's an EMERGENCY and a child is in immediate DANGER, CALL 9-1-1 NOW.
- Protect the health and welfare of children by encouraging the reporting of children who are known to be or suspected of being abused or neglected.
- Provide adequate services for the protection and treatment of abused and neglected children and to protect them from further harm
- Identify the cause of children's deaths, where possible; Identify circumstances that contribute to children's deaths; and recommend changes in policy, practices, and law to prevent children's deaths
The law governing child protection services is NDCC 50-25.1.
- Institutional Child Protection Services
- The North Dakota Child Fatality Review Panel (NDCFRP)
- Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
- Other Topics (Mandated Reporters, Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect What Happens After a Report is Received, and Appeal Rights)
Institutional Child Protection Services
Institutional child abuse and neglect is defined by North Dakota Century Code 50-25.1-02 (17) as, "situations of known or suspected child abuse or neglect when the institution responsible for the child's welfare is a public or private school, a residential facility or setting either licensed, certified, or approved by the department, or a residential facility or setting that receives funding from the department. For purposes of this subsection, residential facilities and settings excludes correctional, medical, home- and community-based residential rehabilitation, and educational boarding care settings."
When a child is suspected of being abused under circumstances that fit within this definition, the suspicion of possible child abuse or neglect can be reported to the statewide toll-free Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Line 1-833-958-3500. Certain professionals are required by law to make reports whenever child abuse or neglect is suspected. State Form No. 960 (LINK to SFN 960) may be used to make a report of suspected institutional child abuse or neglect.
Institutional child abuse and neglect reports, including reports concerning employees of a public or private school, are forwarded from the reporting line to the Institutional Child Protection Services unit within the N.D. Department of Human Services. Reference N.D.C.C. 50-25.1-04.
North Dakota Child Fatality Review Panel (NDCFRP)
- Is a multidisciplinary, multi-agency member appointed panel created by the North Dakota legislature in 1996 through an amendment to North Dakota Century Code Chapter 50-25.1
- Reviews deaths of all minors (under 18 years of age), which occur in the state
- Shares information and reviews compiled data to discover the circumstances surrounding a child's death and to identify trends or patterns in the deaths. Patterns can be used to guide efforts to prevent children's deaths by recommending changes in policy, practice and law.
- Meets on a regular basis (Meetings are closed to the public and all case discussions and documents, except for an annual report are confidential.)
- Contact information for the NDCFRP can be found within the annual reports.
The NDCFRP presiding officer is allowed under North Dakota Century Code 50-25.1-04.4 to request and receive records from "any hospital, physician, medical professional, medical facility, mental health professional, mental health facility" to aid in the panel's work.
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
The Child Protection Program supports and funds numerous child abuse and neglect prevention activities in collaboration with both public and private partners.
Prevention efforts include:
- Community-based child abuse prevention grant activities
- Parenting education through the Parent Education Network and Nurturing Parent Programs
- Support to Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota
- Child Abuse prevention month activities each April