Kasson Cop Charged with Sexual Abusing Two Minors
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Kasson police officer who made news earlier this year when he shot himself while on duty in a suicide attempt is now facing criminal charges that could land him in prison.
Charged Thursday with three counts of criminal sexual conduct in Olmsted County Court was 51-year-old Julio Baez, who has a St. Charles address.
According to the criminal complaint, the alleged sexual abuse in Olmsted County took place in Byron between 2006 and 2011 and involved two victims. One was born in 1988, the other in 1993. The complaint indicates abuse also occurred in other locations in Dodge and Rice counties. Charges in those counties have not yet been filed.
Conditional bail for Baez was set at $500,000 and he was ordered back to court July 6th.
His lawyer told the court Baez “vehemently denies the allegations.“ She said Baez moved to Minnesota in 1987 as a migrant worker and joined the Kasson Police Dept in 2004.
At an earlier news conference, Kasson Police Chief Kent Berghuis described Baez as a “very good officer” who was “well-liked by citizens. “ Berghuis said news of the allegations was “a shock to me.”
Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Scott Behrns says the investigation is “focusing on allegations of criminal sexual conduct occurring over many years to multiple victims," beginning in 1992. He says the investigation also turned up one incident of domestic abuse in 2004.
At this point, Baez is on paid administrative leave but Chief Berghuis says termination proceedings have started.