A former Minnesota state trooper on Wednesday pleaded guilty to texting himself intimate pictures from a woman’s cell phone after she’d been in a suspected DWI crash.
Albert Kuehne, 37, was originally charged with two felony harassment counts that could’ve carried a possible five-year prison sentence.
But Kuehne pleaded guilty in Hennepin County District Court to a lesser charge of misdemeanor nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images and agreed to two years of probation.
A 25-year-old woman crashed her car on March 25 last year in Minneapolis, near Cedar Avenue and Interstate 94, according to a criminal complaint seen by NBC News. The woman was detained as a DWI suspect before she was taken to the hospital for treatment.
The woman’s cell phone is synched with her Macbook, prosecutors said.
After she was released from the hospital, the driver’s boyfriend saw in the synched Macbook that her cell phone had been accessed and it sent instant messages “containing nude photographs of the victim to an unknown phone,” according to the complaint.
“Victim’s boyfriend contacted the unknown phone number and the person on the other end of the call eventually identified themselves as the defendant,” the complaint said.
Trooper video of the March 25 crash scene showed the woman being led to a squad car and Kuehne instructing her to “give me your phone,” according to the complaint.
When three pictures were sent from her phone, and as the woman was being treated by paramedics, “it appears that the defendant was alone in the squad car at that time,” the complaint said.
“The images in question show victim either nude or partially nude. Two of the photos show (the) victim’s exposed breasts,” the complaint continued. “Victim was interviewed. She denied giving the defendant permission to access her phone.”
Kuehne, who lives in Dayton, Minnesota, was put on administrative leave in May last year and fired four months later. His lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.