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Second review recommends no charges against Montevideo police chief

MONTEVIDEO -- A second independent review of harassment claims against Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher, whose resignation was recently accepted, has found no basis for criminal charges.

Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher
Adam Christopher, who recently tendered his resignation as Montevideo Police Chief

MONTEVIDEO - A second independent review of harassment claims against Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher, whose resignation was recently accepted, has found no basis for criminal charges.

An 18-year-old woman was granted a harassment restraining order against Christopher, 47, in November.

The young woman said in court papers that Christopher was an acquaintance, the father of a taekwondo classmate, and she had a casual relationship with him on social media.

After she turned 18, she said, he started sending her hundreds of texts, many of a sexual nature. She wrote that she felt threatened by the exchanges and by Christopher's comments about stalking her at her college.

Christopher is challenging the restraining order. A one-day civil trial is scheduled Feb. 26 in Morris.

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reviewed the information in the case and did not recommend criminal charges. The Chippewa County Attorney's Office declined to press charges after that report.

The Renville County Attorney's Office was contacted to offer a second opinion, in effect.

In a letter this week, Renville County Attorney David Torgelson wrote: "While the social media messages here may have been inappropriate, I can find no criminal statutes that were violated by the conduct." He wrote that he would offer no opinion on whether the restraining order was appropriate.

The letter was released to the public by Chippewa County Attorney Matthew Haugen, who entered office with the new year. Former County Attorney David Gilbertson had said late last year that no criminal charges would be filed.

Christopher resigned his job Dec. 31 after being on medical leave since Nov. 15, the day a Chippewa County District Judge granted a temporary harassment order. The Montevideo Police Commission at a special meeting Jan. 7 accepted Christopher's resignation, effective Jan. 15.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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