A state trooper was charged Tuesday with taking a woman's cellphone while responding to a traffic crash in Minneapolis, opening it and texting nude or partly nude photos of her to his phone.
Albert Kuehne, 36, of Dayton, was charged with two felony counts of stalking with bias, due to the victim being a woman.
Kuehne was charged by summons ahead of his first court appearance on July 15. A message was left with his attorney seeking a response. The patrol put the three-year veteran of the agency on paid administrative leave on May 20 pending the outcome of his case.
"The alleged conduct outlined in this complaint is reprehensible and inconsistent with the core values of the Minnesota State Patrol," said Patrol Col. Matt Langer. "We hold troopers to a high standard and will take appropriate action regarding this matter."
According to the criminal complaint:
On March 25, Kuehne responded on Interstate 94 near Cedar Avenue to a single-vehicle crash involving a 25-year-old driver. Kuehne detained her on suspicion of drunken driving. She was taken to a hospital, where she was treated and released.
When she returned home, her boyfriend was using her laptop computer, which is linked to her cellphone. The laptop records showed that her phone was accessed and nude photos of her were texted from it to an unknown phone.
Her boyfriend called the number for the unknown phone, and the person who answered eventually identified himself as Kuehne. The woman called a lawyer, who reported the incident, prompting an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Kuehne's squad video showed him leading the woman to his squad car. Along the way, the woman took out her phone and he demanded that she turn it over.
The cellphone records indicate the photos were sent from the woman's phone at 4:44 p.m., and the squad video showed Kuehne alone in his vehicle at that time while paramedics treated the woman.
Using a search warrant, investigators seized Kuehne's phone and found three photos of the woman on his phone, according to the complaint.