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Former Brownsdale police chief convicted of sexual assault

AUSTIN — Exactly a year from the day he was charged with criminal sexual conduct, the former Brownsdale chief of police was convicted of assaulting a woman he met in a bar.

A Mower County jury found Jason Mindrup, 43, guilty Thursday of one count each of second- and third-degree criminal sexual assault, but acquitted him of a first-degree count. Jurors deliberated about five hours before reaching the verdict.

Judge Jeffrey Kritzer continued Mindrup's previous conditions of release, but warned him against any contact with the victim, saying Mindrup would be held accountable if the woman were harassed in any way.

Sentencing has been set for Feb. 6; Mindrup faces a presumptive sentence of 90 months in prison for the second-degree charge; 48 months for the lesser charge.

The charges stemmed from an incident Aug. 31, 2013, when a woman called law enforcement about 2 a.m. to report a sexual assault.


The woman had been at a bar in Waltham earlier in the night with a male friend, and had also spoken to Mindrup. She and the friend left the bar and walked to a tractor repair shop nearby, leaving her purse and cell phone at the bar. The woman said Mindrup drove past the shop, then backed up, pulled into the back lot and offered her a ride home.

Instead of taking her home, the complaint says, Mindrup drove a couple miles out of town, got out of the truck and undressed, then got back into the truck.

Mindrup "roughly assaulted" her, the report says, and used force in other attempts. He eventually got dressed and drove the woman back to the bar, which was closed.

The bartender let the woman in to get her purse, and described her as "crying and looking scared," according to the complaint, but wouldn't tell her what happened. Mindrup looked into the window of the bar and the woman became more upset; the bartender spoke to Mindrup, who said he was seeing if the woman needed a ride home.

The victim left the bar, walked to a nearby friend's house and called authorities.

Mindrup, who took the stand in his own defense, said he was worried about the woman when he saw her near the tractor shop, and offered her a ride home. Mindrup told the jury the woman asked to go to his house; instead, he drove a couple of miles out of town and parked while he decided where to take her, then just took her back to the bar.

He denied assaulting her.

A DNA expert with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified that saliva found on the victim's breasts — while not "definitively" a match to Mindrup — likely couldn't have come from anyone else.


The case was prosecuted by former Olmsted County senior assistant attorney Julie Germann to avoid conflicts of interest. As Brownsdale police chief, Mindrup often worked with Mower County prosecutors.

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