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Charges: State Patrol trooper sexually abused child

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Shawn Barta
Shawn Barta
Courtesy photo

Dakota County prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Minnesota State Patrol trooper with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

According to the criminal complaint, a man told police on Friday that his 14-year-old daughter, who is described as cognitively delayed, said trooper Shawn Barta had been engaging in sexual acts with her over the past year.

Barta, 36, denied anything inappropriate had happened.

The State Patrol says Barta has been placed on investigative leave pending the outcome of the criminal process and an internal affairs investigation. He is due back in court next month.

In a statement Wednesday, Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, called the alleged acts "extremely disturbing and completely inconsistent with the core values of the Minnesota State Patrol."