A Minnesota state trooper is facing two charges of criminal sexual conduct after two women said he inappropriately touched them at his home.
Hibbing resident Todd Lindstrom, 44, was charged Wednesday in St. Louis County District Court with one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony that carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence, and one count of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum 6-month sentence.
The Minnesota State Patrol said Thursday that Lindstrom has been placed on paid leave.
"The charges are disturbing and very serious. The alleged actions of this trooper are not consistent with the core values of the State Patrol," according to a statement from State Patrol Chief Col. Matt Langer.
The alleged incidents occurred during a gathering for a bonfire in Lindstrom's yard following auto races in Hibbing on July 25, according to the criminal complaint. The women reported the incidents to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office the following day. The criminal complaint states that the women and other witnesses reported that Lindstrom had been intoxicated on the night of the alleged incidents.
According to the criminal complaint, one of the women - who was leaving the bonfire at about 2 a.m. - said Lindstrom reached up under her shorts while he was walking her to her car. She said she "batted his hand away and told him to stop," but he tried to grab her hand, according to the criminal complaint.
When they reached the car, she said, he pushed up her up against the vehicle and was trying to force her to rub her hands on his body, according to the complaint. The Sheriff's Office investigator noted bruises on the woman's wrist and bicep.
After the woman was inside the car, she alleged that Lindstrom leaned inside the window and was trying to rub her thighs while she kept hitting his hands away, according to the complaint.
A second woman reported that she had gone to sleep in a tent in Lindstrom's yard at about 1 a.m. About 90 minutes later, Lindstrom entered the tent, laid on top of her and started kissing her, according the complaint. She alleged that Lindstrom attempted to put his hand down her pants and up her shirt and was rubbing her thigh, according to the complaint. She said she was able to slide out from underneath Lindstrom when he attempted to unzip her jeans, and he eventually left the tent, she said. The woman told authorities that Lindstrom said "he had expected more from her."
Lindstrom is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 31.