A Minnesota State Patrol trooper is facing two charges of criminal sexual conduct for alleged sexual assaults involving a teenage girl dating back to April 2018.
Shawn Gerald Barta, a 15-year employee with the Minnesota State Patrol, is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who is "cognitively delayed and functions at about a 6th grade-level," according to a criminal complaint.
The complaint says Barta sexually assaulted the teenager in a "locked room" where he and the victim would undress, leading to what the victim describes as him touching her "down there."
The victim's father told police that Barta, 36, was living at an address on Nicollet Lane in Burnsville, and that his daughter, the victim, had stayed at the residence June 28 to July 5 this year.
She was there every other week because of a legal arrangement, the complaint notes.
Police interviewed the girl and she said Barta had been "touching me in not good places," adding that the relationship between the two began April 2018.
Over the approximately 15 months that followed, Barta is accused of sexually assaulting the victim, including penetration. The most recent alleged incident occurred July 2, with Barta motioning her to his bedroom where he then raped her, the complaint says.
The girl told investigators that similar instances had been happening at least once a week during the weeks she was at Barta's residence.
In addition, the complaint states that the girl said Barta has been showing her pornography videos "so that she we would know what to do."
Barta denied any wrongdoing, telling investigators that the girl would go into his bedroom "hiding" from her siblings, and that he shut the door so her siblings would have a harder time finding her.
In a statement to KSTP, Minnesota State Patrol Chief Matt Langer called the allegations "extremely disturbing and completely inconsistent with the core values of the Minnesota State Patrol."
Barta is now on investigative leave pending the outcome of the criminal process.