A Cop Just Pleaded Guilty to Sending Himself Nudes From a Detained Woman’s Phone

Former Minnesota State Trooper Albert Kuehne was previously put on leave for a high-speed chase that injured three kids.
​On the left, former Minnesota state trooper Albert Kuehne​. On the right, a member of the Minnesota State Patrol.
On the left, former Minnesota state trooper Albert Kuehne. (Minnesota State Patrol) On the right, a member of the Minnesota State Patrol. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) 

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A Minnesota state trooper apparently thought he could get away with sending himself nude images of a woman whose phone he had access to during a traffic stop. But thanks to a chance discovery by the woman’s significant other, the now-former law enforcement officer is facing prison time.

Albert Kuehne, 37, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to nonconsensual dissemination of private nude images. The admission comes more than a year after he was placed on administrative leave, and nine months after he was fired from the state agency for the incident.

In March of last year, Kuehne encountered a 25-year-old woman, who has not been named, after she was involved in a minor car accident in Minneapolis, according to a criminal complaint. When troopers arrived, Kuehne detained the woman on suspicion that she may have been driving while intoxicated.

The woman was seated in the back of the trooper’s squad car making a phone call when Kuehne demanded that she hand over her phone. Squad car video shows that he kept the phone and accessed its contents without the woman’s consent as paramedics treated her, according to the complaint. Afterward, the woman was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment before being released.

When the woman returned home, her boyfriend noticed something strange: The MacBook that the phone was synced to showed that a series of personal photos were sent from the woman’s phone to an unknown number. When her boyfriend dialed the number, Kuehne picked up and identified himself, according to the complaint.

The couple contacted a lawyer, who informed the Minnesota Bureau and Criminal Apprehension. Investigators later discovered Kuehne deleted evidence that he had sent the photos to himself on the victim’s phone, according to the complaint.

Kuehne’s attorney Frederic Bruno did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Minnesota State Patrol did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment.

This wasn’t the first time Kuehne was disciplined for a serious offense while on the job. In 2018, the former trooper was placed on administrative leave after he was involved in a dangerous high-speed chase in a residential part of North Minneapolis. The chase resulted in a crash at a playground that injured three children, according to the Star Tribune.

Kuehne was originally charged last June with two felony counts of stalking for sending himself pictures from the victim’s phone in March, but the charges were reduced to a single misdemeanor as part of a guilty plea, according to local Minnesota ABC affiliate KSTP. He’s scheduled to be sentenced later this month, according to several local media outlets.