Maplewood Police Officer Faces Charges of Providing Alcohol to Minors
Charges allege that Joseph Tran, a former school resource officer with the Maplewood Police Department, provided alcohol to three teenage girls inside his townhome in Stillwater last fall.
A Maplewood police officer faces criminal charges after he allegedly provided alcohol to minors last fall at his Stillwater home.
Stillwater police were called to investigate a report of a possible sexual assault and underage drinking on Oct. 8 at Joseph Tran’s home in the 3500 block of Abercrombie Lane.
After reviewing the evidence in the case, Fred Fink, head of the Washington County Attorney's Office Criminal Division, said the sexual assault allegation could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt—and felony charges were not filed.
But another allegation, stemming from a report that Tran, 34, a former school resource officer with the Maplewood Police Department, provided alcohol to underage persons was charged out by the Stillwater City Attorney’s Office.
According to the complaint:
Three teenage girls were hanging out in Oakdale on Oct. 8 when they decided to go to Tran's after one of the girls told her friends he would "supply alcohol and allow them to drink at his residence."
Tran was not home when the girls arrived, but according to the police report, one of the teens knew the code to his garage and they let themselves into his townhouse.
Tran reportedly returned home about a half an hour later with wine and beer, which he allegedly watched the girls drink inside his home.
One of the teens told police she “drank to the point of extreme intoxication,” eventually becoming ill and vomiting from the effects of alcohol.
When an investigator asked if it was common for 17-year-old girls to go to Tran's house because he allowed drinking, the complaint states that one of the teens said, "I guess so."
When questioned by police, Tran denied providing alcohol to the teens and initially said if they were drinking he was unaware of it, because he was either in another room or not around.
But Tran ultimately admitted that he knew one of the girls was drinking, the police report states, because “she had been fine prior to him falling asleep and woke from her being intoxicated and sick from such.”
Tran’s next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28 in Washington County District Court. He has pleaded not guilty.
"He very much disagrees with the charge and looks forward to having his correct story come out and to be able to be heard in that regard," Tran’s attorney, Robert Oleisky told the Pioneer Press.
Tran was placed on paid administrative leave two days after the initial report was filed.
He has since been reinstated to active duty as a Maplewood police officer pending the outcome of the case, the Pioneer Press reports. But he is limited to office duties.