Former Rochester Police officer and high school coach charged with criminal sexual conduct

A former Rochester Police officer has been charged with criminal sexual conduct. He was hired by the department on Oct. 7, 2021, and was terminated Oct. 6, 2022.

Rochester Police Department Squad
A Rochester Police Department squad April 21, 2022.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin file photo

ROCHESTER — A former Rochester Police Department officer is facing criminal sexual conduct charges where he is accused of grooming and raping a 16-year-old female juvenile, according to new charges filed in Olmsted County District Court.

Timothy Morgenstern, 22, was an officer with RPD for about a year, according to RPD Crime Prevention & Communications Coordinator Amanda Grayson. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 15, 2023.

He was charged Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, fourth degree criminal sexual conduct involving contact, and using minors in a sexual performance, all felonies. The charges also mention his position of authority over the victim.

“The conduct outlined in this case is inconsistent with the core values of our department," RPD Chief Jim Franklin said in a statement. Details of the complaint were not listed in a statement issued by the department.

The initial report was made to the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and was shared with RPD because the incident is alleged to have happened in Rochester, according to Grayson.


"Recognizing a conflict of interest, RPD requested OCSO conduct an independent, complete and thorough investigation," Grayson wrote in a statement.

He was placed on administrative leave before his next shift and was terminated on Oct. 6, 2022.

Morgenstern was hired by the department Oct. 7, 2021.

The Fillmore County Attorney's is prosecuting the case.

"This afternoon, a criminal complaint was issued in Olmsted County Court regarding a former officer in the Rochester Police Department. The complaint alleges criminal sexual conduct. We have just received this complaint and have reviewed it in detail and take the allegations extremely seriously," a statement from Rochester Public Schools states. "The individual identified in the complaint, Timothy Robert Morgenstern, served as a volunteer speech coach at John Marshall High School from November 2021 to June 2022. In addition, he served as a judge at seven speech competitions and was paid a total of $595 for serving in that capacity. During his period of volunteer coaching, we received no complaints about Mr. Morgenstern’s conduct. By the time Mr. Morgenstern was placed on leave by the Rochester Police Department, he was no longer involved in Rochester Public Schools in any capacity."

According to the criminal complaint:

While working as a coach at a John Marshall High School, Morgenstern groomed a 16-year-old female over the course of several months. Morgenstern's overnight shift at RPD allowed him to talk with her late into night when the pair started talking outside of school.

Morgenstern communicated with the juvenile via Snapchat and instructed her to delete their messages.


He is accused of sending and requesting lewd pictures of the juvenile.

Morgenstern also raped the juvenile in his Rochester home in late June of 2022, the juvenile told law enforcement.

Law enforcement found evidence on electronic devices that corroborated what the juvenile reported.

Morgenstern denied sexually assaulting the juvenile when questioned by police. He also said he notified the head coach of the high school about an email the juvenile is alleged to have sent him.

He was not on duty at the time of the alleged assault in his home.

Jordan Shearer contributed to this story.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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