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Charges: Minnesota corrections officer traded food for sexual acts from female prisoner

Updated: October 17, 2019 10:08 PM

A Minnesota Department of Corrections officer has been charged with two sex crimes for having inappropriate contact with a detainee he was transporting.

According to the Dakota County Attorney's Office, Randy Allen Beehler, 53, of Foley, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

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The female prisoner filed a sexual assault complaint when she was turned over to Hennepin County authorities. That launched an investigation into the Sept. 30th trip. Beehler was assigned to relocate the inmate from the Olmsted County jail in Rochester to the Hennepin County jail in Minneapolis.

The victim told authorities that during the transport, Beehler said he was going to stop for food. The victim said she'd "do anything" for some food, and Beehler allegedly asked if that included coming up to the front seat and "fooling around." The victim also said Beehler told her she could get in to a lot of trouble if anyone found out and asked if she'd tell anyone, to which she said no.

The complaint states that Beehler stopped at a McDonald's drive-thru in Cannon Falls and ordered meals for them both. After leaving the restaurant, he parked the vehicle by an abandoned business, uncuffed the woman and brought her to the front seat. He was driving when he reportedly opened his pants and exposed himself, then coerced her to perform sexual acts. 

After they were finished, the victim told authorities they stopped at a park to clean up and threw away napkins in a trash can. Officers went to the park and located the napkins in the trash can like the victim said, and they were collected for scientific testing, the complaint states.

They also reviewed GPS records which placed them at that area during the timeframe the inmate stated.

When questioned by an investigator, Beehler initially denied any inappropriate contact, but eventually admitted he'd gotten the victim food and permitted her to sit in the front seat of the vehicle, and that she performed sexual acts. He denied the victim's statement that he also digitally penetrated her, the complaint states.

Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell said in a statement:

"In addition to violating the law, the actions of the accused officer are absolutely contrary to the core values of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. The conduct described in the criminal complaint is disturbing, and does not reflect the professionalism of the more than 4,000 agency personnel who serve with integrity and honor. Our immediate concern is for the victim of this crime."  

Beehler remains on the DOC payroll during the investigation.

Beehler made his first court appearance Thursday, and a judge set his bail at $50,000 without conditions or $20,000 with conditions. On Thursday afternoon, he made bail and is out of custody.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 11.  An attorney for the Dakota County Prosecutor's Office said "consent by an inmate is not a defense ... and this was a breach of trust."  If convicted, Beehler faces up to 25 years in prison.

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KSTP & Beth McDonough

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