January 23, 2019 10:32 PM
According to a search warrant, the Apple Valley Police Department is trying to determine whether a Minnesota Children's Museum employee was downloading child pornography.
KSTP is not identifying the employee because he has not been arrested or charged. But the museum confirms he has been suspended indefinitely without pay - a suspension that began on Jan. 16.
According to the search warrant, in December, an investigator with Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found four videos involving underage girls linked to an IP address and computer used at the man's home.
The search warrant allowed investigators to search the employee’s electronics at work. It said “photos” were taken into custody.
Apple Valley police said the investigation is "ongoing."
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The museum released a statement on the matter Wednesday.
“We’re aware of a very serious law enforcement investigation involving a museum employee," it read. "We are cooperating fully with law enforcement. The employee involved has been suspended due to this allegation. This employee holds an administrative position that does not require contact with visitors.
"Apple Valley police conducted a search of the employee’s workstation on Jan. 16. During the search, investigators found nothing related to the investigation. The museum later engaged an outside technology company to conduct an examination of the employee’s computer. This outside examination did not find any material that violated museum policies.
"The museum is committed to providing a safe environment for our visitors, staff and volunteers. We would never knowingly employ an individual who poses a risk to anyone who visits the museum. The museum conducts background checks on all hires.”
The search warrant said the employee was also investigated in 2014, but that case wasn't prosecuted.
Museum Vice President of External Relations Bob Ingrassia said the employee has been in the same administrative position since being hired in May, 2018.
The employee's office was in the museum building, but Ingrassia said it was not accessible to visitors. He also said the museum was unaware of any investigation until the day before the search warrant was executed.
According to Ingrassia, no other employees are being investigated.
Updated: January 23, 2019 10:32 PM
Created: January 23, 2019 09:39 PM
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