MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota State Patrol trooper has been charged with felony stalking for taking a woman's cell phone and sending her private photos to his phone following a traffic accident.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced on Tuesday that Albert Kuehne, 36, of Dayton, was charged with two counts of stalking with bias due to the fact the victim was a woman. Kuehne's first court appearance is set for July 15.
According to the criminal complaint, which was issued by summons, Kuehne worked a single-vehicle accident at Interstate-94 and Cedar Avenue on March 25, 2020, where he encountered the woman. Kuehne detained the victim on suspicion of DWI, but she was ultimately was taken to a hospital where she was treated and released.
When the victim returned home, the complaint says her boyfriend was using her laptop, which is linked to her cell phone, and the computer's records showed the woman's phone was accessed and nude photos of her were texted from it to an unknown phone.
The boyfriend called the number and the person who answered eventually identified himself as Kuehne, according to the complaint. The victim then called a lawyer, who reported the incident and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) began an investigation.
According to the complaint, video from Kuehne's squad showed him leading the victim to his car, and along the way, the woman took out her phone. Soon after, Kuehne can be heard telling the victim "give me your phone." Phone records indicate the photos were sent from the victim's phone at 4:44. Based on the squad video, it appears Kuehne was alone in the squad car at that time as the victim was being treated by paramedics.
Using a search warrant, investigators found three photos of the woman on Kuehne's phone, according to the complaint.
The Minnesota State Patrol issued the following statement in response to Kuehne's charges:
The alleged conduct outlined in this complaint is reprehensible and inconsistent with the core values of the Minnesota State Patrol. We hold troopers to a high standard and will take appropriate action regarding this matter. In the meantime, he is on leave pending further investigation.