Updated: October 23, 2020 04:11 PM
Created: October 23, 2020 03:41 PM
On Friday, Minnesota State Trooper Shawn Gerald Barta was acquitted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and a hung jury was called on a second-degree criminal sexual misconduct count.
According to court documents, Barta, a 15-year veteran with the State Patrol, was found not guilty by a jury in Dakota County on first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The jury was hung on a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 16.
On July 7, 2019, the criminal complaint stated that the Burnsville Police Department responded to a sexual assault report. The caller said his teenage daughter told her grandmother that she had been going into a "locked room" with a man identified as Barta.
The victim told her grandmother that both her and Barta would be undressed and that Barta would touch her inappropriately. The victim was interviewed by police and said that Barta had been "touching me in not good places" over the past year.
According to the complaint, Barta first began touching the victim in April of 2018 and she recalled a specific incident in May 2018 and earlier in July 2019.
The victim stated some of the instances included touching of both his and her intimate areas, as well as penetration.
Barta was interviewed by authorities and denied anything happening between himself and the teenager.
The State Patrol issued a statement on the matter, provided by Col. Matt Langer, Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol :
"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."
Barta is still on investigatory leave, according to the State Patrol.
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