Creepy and criminal.

Former Winona County jailer accused of stealing nude photos from cellphones of owners in custody

Jerome Christenson Daily News 19 hrs ago

A former Winona County detention deputy has been accused of using nude and nearly nude photos downloaded from cellphones owned by people booked into the jail as leverage to obtain additional photos from the subjects of the photos.

Charges of stalking, misconduct, and computer theft were filed in Winona District Court against Ryan Philip Brown, 31, of St. Charles. Winona County Sheriff Ron Ganrude said Wednesday Brown is no longer employed by the sheriff’s department.

Brown was on duty at the jail on about 8 p.m. Dec. 1, 2015, when a man identified as ZKP was booked and placed in a holding cell after being arrested on an outstanding warrant. While he was in custody, Brown was in possession of his cellphone, which was not pass-code protected, according to court documents.

ZKP made bail and was released about 10 p.m. He noticed his phone’s battery was at about 3 percent power; it had been at 30 percent when he was arrested. He thought nothing of it at the time.

Not long afterward, in the early hours of Dec. 2, ZKP’s girlfriend received Facebook messages from an individual identifying himself as Roger Beckman telling her he had pictures of her in the nude and if she didn’t send more photos and videos, the ones he had would be posted online to a “revenge porn” website, court documents state.

When ZKP learned of this, he checked his phone and discovered photos and videos of his girlfriend had been sent to a Roger Beckman during the time he was in custody in the county jail.

He then went to talk with the Winona Police Department.

Police investigator Chris Nelson discovered that ZKP’s phone had been logged onto the password-protected Law Enforcement Center wireless network during the time he was in custody and that the user had connected with Facebook. Video of the jail booking area taken at the time messages were sent to ZKP’s girlfriend showed Brown using an electronic tablet at the booking counter.

On Dec. 3, Nelson had a conversation with Brown, who, after an inititial denial, admitted stealing the photos and using the Roger Beckman account, insisting he had never done anything like this before.

The next day, Nelson had reason to think otherwise. Goodview police had been investigating a “Roger Beckman” since receiving a similar complaint Nov. 25, court documents state.

In this case, a woman began receiving messages from “Beckman” on Oct. 27, the first one reading, “I have some skanky photos from you I got from a friend … Do you happen to have any more pics. Those were really hot!! I could always put those pics online,” court documents state.

The woman’s boyfriend had been booked into the jail about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 26, about an hour before she received the first message. Brown was on duty at the jail that night.

Nelson had another conversation with Brown. He first claimed he found the photos online, but eventually admitted getting them from the boyfriend’s phone in the jail. He said he was the sole user of “Roger Beckman’s” Facebook page, and that he had made up the name “Roger Beckman.”

Brown is charged with two gross-misdemeanor counts of stalking; two gross-misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a public officer/employee; and two misdemeanor counts of computer theft (theft of data).

He will make his first court appearance June 15.

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