No charges for Duluth legislator in rest stop oral sex case
The St. Louis County Attorney’s office won’t pursue charges in an Interstate 35 rest stop incident last month that police reports show involved state Rep. Kerry Gauthier and a 17-year-old male.
The Minnesota State Patrol and Duluth Police Department earlier this week told the News Tribune that Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, had contact with a state trooper on July 22 about 11 p.m. at the Thompson Hill rest stop after a “report of suspicious activity.”
Records released Thursday show that the State Patrol and Duluth police investigated Gauthier for allegedly having oral sex with a 17-year-old male at the rest stop.
Gauthier, 56, who on Tuesday told the News Tribune, “I think it’s a private matter and I don’t need to talk about it,” could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
In an interview with police on July 31, Gauthier said he met the 17-year-old after he put an ad on Craigslist, according to police reports.
The 17-year-old told an officer he responded to the ad and that he and Gauthier agreed to meet at Thompson Hill, according to the reports. He said they walked to a wooded area behind the rest stop pavilion for five minutes, where they engaged in fondling and oral sex, police reports said.
Both parties told police that the sex was consensual and that no money was exchanged, according to the police reports.
Gauthier told the officer in the interview that the 17-year-old told him he was 18; the 17-year-old also told police that he told Gauthier he was 18.
In explaining why he wouldn’t press charges, County Attorney Mark Rubin said in a memo to Duluth police that the age of consent in Minnesota is 16. The 17-year-old told police that he didn’t know who Gauthier was, meaning Gauthier couldn’t be charged for using his position of authority over a juvenile.
Rubin’s memo made no mention of why charges