ST. PAUL — A Minnesota state trooper was charged Wednesday, July 10, with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
Shawn Gerald Barta, 36, of Burnsville, was charged with first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in Dakota County District Court.
The teen, who is cognitively delayed and functions at about a sixth-grade level, regularly spent time at Barta’s house, according to the complaint.
The complaint gave the following details about the ongoing sexual assault:
The teen told her grandmother that she had been going into a “locked room” with Barta and that they would undress and he would touch her “down there.”
The grandmother told the father who called Burnsville police on Sunday.
When interviewed, the teen told authorities Barta “has been touching me in not good places” over the past year during the weeks she was at his house.
The complaint said the girl was regularly at Barta’s house and that he first began touching her after she had a root canal last spring. Records show the root canal appointment was in May 2018.
The teen said Barta continued assaulting her on a regular basis with the most recent incident occurring on July 2.
According to the complaint, Barta also showed her pornographic videos. The girl said he was “showing her so that she would know what to do.”
Siblings and stepsiblings in the house said they noticed the girl and Barta missing several times and later realized the two had been alone in Barta’s bedroom, the complaint said.
When police interviewed Barta, he said he had been alone with the girl in his bedroom when she was “hiding” from her siblings. He said he had shut the door so they would have a more difficult time finding her, according to the complaint.
Barta told investigators that on the day the teen had the root canal he had been home alone with her, “however (he) denied anything sexual happening between himself” and the girl “at any time.”
Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol released the following statement by email Wednesday:
“The alleged conduct outlined in this complaint is extremely disturbing and completely inconsistent with the core values of the Minnesota State Patrol. Mr. Barta has been placed on investigative leave pending the outcome of the criminal process and an internal affairs investigation.”