Lawsuit: MN probation officer sexually exploited women assigned to him

Their lawyer is asking other victims to come forward.

A lawsuit filed in federal court this week says a Minnesota probation officer sexually abused at least two of the women defendants who were assigned to him. 

The women are now seeking $2 million in damages from the federal government. 

According to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, the alleged abuse, which began in 2014 and ended last year, happened during the pretrial release for both women, during which time they were assigned to Dennis Bresnahan. 

The allegations

Bresnahan, the civil suit says, solicited "sexual favors" from one victim, coerced her into sending photos of her breasts (to his government email), and also asked for pictures of her having sex with one of her female friends.

When that failed, he asked for photographs of her mother, the suit alleges.

Bresnahan is also accused of falsely claiming the victim had failed a drug test, though a later "hair sample test" produced a negative result.

The woman's pretrial release was such a "horrifying experience," the lawsuit alleges, "she agreed to terminate" it and "voluntarily consented to detention."

Meanwhile, the second plaintiff says Bresnahan made unwanted sexual advances toward her during her pretrial release, including caressing her leg "in a sexual manner," and inviting her to take part in a "threesome" with him. 

The lawsuit says both women suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the abuse. 

The federal government is blamed for allowing it to happen, as Bresnahan was a longtime employee allowed "in private settings that would give him room to abuse his victims," making the abuse "foreseeable."

'Like a psychologist who abuses a patient'

The lawyer for the two women, Kenneth U. Udoibok of Minneapolis, told GoMN he believes Bresnahan "is a predator that used the power of being a U.S. probation officer to abuse vulnerable women."

"After a judge," Udoibok explained, "the next (most) powerful person in the life of a criminal defendant is a probation officer."

He compared Bresnahan to a "psychologist who abuses a patient."

Udoibok believes there are more victims out there, "based on what happened to my clients," and that he wants to talk to "any person who has been a victim, man or woman, of this guy."

Udoibok says he is also looking to add a third woman to the lawsuit, and talking to a fourth about possible abuse by Bresnahan.

U.S. probation officials told the Star Tribune that Bresnahan resigned from the job in Sept. 2016 while on "suspension status."

The paper says it reached Bresnahan by phone, but he declined to comment. 

Next Up


Here's how much snow fell in Minnesota on Sunday

Some localized areas saw more than expected.

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: What's harder than making a meal plan? Sticking to it!

Lindsay Guentzel says you shouldn't give up on your meal planning routines.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.15.34 AM

Two people fatally shot by police in Wadena County, two officers injured

Another man was shot in the altercation, which police claim started when one of the suspects opened fire on officers.

snow, plow

Winter storm warnings issued as snow system shifts in Minnesota

The worst of the snow will now hit further north, affecting areas including St. Cloud and the I-94 corridor.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

St. Paul police

St. Paul police arrest teenage boy in carjacking crackdown

This comes amid a dramatic spike in Twin Cities carjackings.


Snow latest: Twin Cities set for up to 4 inches

A narrow system will travel across Minnesota overnight.


Update: Louis C.K. says sexual misconduct allegations against him are true

The comedian admits to misconduct, says he'll try to learn from it.

Mpls. ties to 20 sexually exploited minors

Minneapolis City Council members are weighing a resolution Thursday that calls for the popular advertising website to halt running ads that fuel the sex trade at the expense of young people. Minneapolis police say that all 20 child sex-trafficking cases they have investigated so far this year involve juvenile victims being prostituted on this website.