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MN State trooper charged with criminal sexual conduct

Shawn Barta of Burnsville is charged with two felony counts that prosecutors say involve multiple sexual acts.
Credit: Dakota County Sheriff's Office
Minnesota State Trooper Shawn Barta is charged with criminal sexual conduct for acts that allegedly involve a 14-year-old girl with the cognitive abilities of a 6th grader.

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — A Minnesota State Trooper is charged in Dakota County with criminal sexual conduct allegedly with a girl who is just 14 years old.

Shawn Barta of Burnsville is charged with two felony counts that prosecutors say involve multiple sexual acts. The criminal complaint filed against the 36-year-old trooper says although she is 14, the girl is cognitively delayed and functions at about a sixth grade level. 

Burnsville police were first made aware of the allegations on July 7 when they received a report from the victim's father, who stated his daughter told her grandmother that she had been going in to a "locked room" with a man, later identified as Barta. The 14-year-old said both she and Barta would be undressed and that he would touch her "down there" sexually. She said Barta first began touching her and performing sexual acts in April of 2018. 

The victim was interviewed by forensic specialists and told investigators that Barta had been "touching me in not good places" over a year's time while staying at a Burnsville home as part of a custody agreement. She described multiple acts that allegedly took place with the defendant.

Siblings and step-siblings of the alleged victim told police they noticed Barta and the 14-year-old "missing" within the home a number of times, and later realized they were in a bedroom.

When interviewed by detectives Barta admitted being alone with the girl in his bedroom when she was "hiding" from her siblings so they couldn't find her, but denied having sexual contact of any kind with her. 

 When asked about the charges against Barta, Minnesota State Patrol Chief Colonel Matt Langer released the following statement. 

“The alleged conduct outlined in this complaint is extremely disturbing and completely inconsistent with the core values of the Minnesota State Patrol. Mr. Barta has been placed on investigative leave pending the outcome of the criminal process and an internal affairs investigation.”