Ex-State Trooper Pleads Guilty After 'Reprehensible' Texts

Albert Kuehne admits he texted nude images of drunk driving suspect from her phone to himself
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2021 9:50 AM CDT
Former State Trooper Admits Stealing Suspect's Nudes
Albert Kuehne.   (Minnesota State Patrol)

The driver of a crashed vehicle had just been detained on suspicion of drunk driving when a Minnesota state trooper asked the woman to hand over her cellphone. While the 25-year-old was checked out by paramedics, the trooper scrolled through nude photos of the woman stored on the phone, three of which he sent to himself via text message. He then deleted the texts, thinking he'd covered his tracks, per the Washington Post. In fact, he hadn't. That same day, the woman's boyfriend saw the messages on her MacBook, which was connected to her iCloud account. He called the unknown number, and according to prosecutors, Albert Kuehne picked up, per KSTP. Kuehne, who was placed on administrative leave weeks after the March 2020 incident and fired in October, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images on Tuesday.

The plea deal meant he avoided the possibility of a felony conviction, as the 37-year-old was initially charged with two felony counts of harassment with bias, due to the victim being a woman. The driver had contacted a lawyer, who reported the incident to law enforcement. An investigation turned up video from inside his patrol car, showing Kuehne alone with the woman's phone at the exact time the text messages were sent. State Patrol Chief Col. Matt Langer denounced the "reprehensible" conduct when charges were announced last year. Kuehne had previously been placed on paid administrative leave following a 2018 police chase in a residential neighborhood, which ended with the speeding driver striking three young children on a playground, all of whom survived, per the Post. He will face sentencing Monday, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. (More Minnesota stories.)

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