Charges: Jail worker stole nude photos from phones of people in custody

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A former Winona County jailer is accused of stealing nude photos from cellphones of people taken into custody.

According to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday, Ryan Philip Brown twice took an arrested man's phone and downloaded naked pictures he found, only to turn around and use them against the women to try to get more photos.

According to the charges:

Brown was the detention deputy on duty last December when a man was taken into custody at the Winona County Jail. Tthe charges say Brown snooped through that man's phone while he was behind bars, and downloaded some nude photos he found.

Later, using a Facebook account under the alias "Robert Beckman," Brown searched for the subject of the photos – which happened to be the inmate's girlfriend. He then sent the woman messages threatening to post the photos to revenge porn websites if she didn't send him more pics.

When the phone's owner got out of jail only two hours later and found out, he alerted the Winona Police Department.

Brown was later interviewed by officers, and he admitted to stealing the photos but claimed he had "never done anything like that before" – but police found out that was a lie.

Authorities in Goodview had been investigating "Robert Beckman" after receiving similar complaints. Another woman had been accosted for nude photos while her boyfriend was in custody, and Brown had been on duty.

His message to her said:

“I have some skanky photos from you I got from a friend ... Do you happen to have any more pics. Those were really hot!! I could always put those pics online.”

The photos and Facebook messages were found in a search of Brown's Nook tablet.

The charges

Brown has been charged with two gross misdemeanor counts of stalking, two gross misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a public officer/employee, and two misdemeanor counts of computer theft.

The charges could amount to over four years in jail and up to $14,000 in fines.

He will make his first court appearance in June, the Winona Daily News said.

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