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January 24, 2012 05:59 PM

MN Deputy Investigated For Child Pornography

Luverne, MN

We're learning more about a Rock County, Minnesota, Sheriff's Deputy under investigation for having sex with a minor and child pornography.

28-year-old Kyle Kreun hasn't been charged with any crimes yet and he remains on paid administrative leave. But a new search warrant sheds light on the investigation.
Now, his boss, the man who hired him, is speaking out.

According to a search warrant out of Blue Earth County in Minnesota, the investigation into Kreun began on December 22 when Rock County Sheriff Evan Verbrugge received a tip that Kreun had photos of a topless teenager on his department-issued cell phone. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed the girl was 16 at the time the photo was taken, but now she's 17. Further interviews with the girl and Kreun then revealed that the relationship was more than just that picture.

The search warrant explains that Kreun met a 16-year-old girl around six months ago after a traffic stop, which resulted in a warning about drinking.  Afterward, the two sent text messages to each other, up to 50 times per day. Then on September 1, a Minnesota state trooper on a hunting trip with Kreun saw a photograph showing a topless teenager. 

"Obviously, in law enforcement, we're about integrity," Verbrugge said. "And when you hear about something that may have happened that goes against that, it's very disappointing and it gives you a sick pit in your stomach."

But after investigators talked with the girl in question, as well as Kreun, it was revealed the two also had a consensual sexual relationship. The two had sex two or three times according to the warrant, including in his house where the girl sometimes babysat Kreun's children.

"It still gives you a bad taste in your mouth when you see one of your own does make a poor decision, if it's true, and it affects everybody else," Verbrugge said.

Verbrugge hired Kreun in July 2008 and said he had no other allegations or discipline in that time. He hopes Rock County residents won't associate the investigation against Kreun against his entire department. 

"I would say 10 percent of the people are going to feel that way," Verbrugge said. "The other 90 percent are going to understand this was just one individual and his decision if it comes out that way."

We wanted to get Kreun's side of the story. We walked up to the door of his house in rural Steen, Minnesota. After waiting a little more than a minute, a woman emerged from a side garage door.

David Brown: Hello, is Kyle here?
Woman: Um, yeah.
David Brown: Could we talk to him?
Woman: No.
David Brown: He doesn't want to say anything?
Woman: No.
David Brown: I'm David from KELO-TV and you are?
Woman: I'm Chelsie.
David Brown: And how do you know Kyle?
Chelsie Kreun: I'm his wife.
David Brown: Do you have any thoughts on the investigation with him?
Chelsie Kreun: No, I have no comment, but we'd kind of like you guys to leave. 

Verbrugge says it's been a difficult past couple of weeks. But he hopes that by speaking out, he can provide some transparency to the situation.

"I've known him for a while and I hired him, so it's disappointing to hear all this information out there," Verbrugge said. "He's still a friend and he's always going to be. Unfortunately, as the sheriff, you have to make a decision to protect the office and the people here in Rock County as well."

The reason the search warrant came out of Blue Earth county is because that's the residence of the Minnesota BCA agent investigating.  Verbrugge says there will be an internal investigation, but he wanted an outside source to conduct the preliminary one to avoid any conflict of interest.

He expects the BCA's report in the next week or two, at which point, criminal charges could be filed against Kreun.
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