An Alaska State Trooper was arrested Wednesday in Soldotna on multiple charges of sexual abuse of a minor, state officials said.
Benjamin Strachan, 39, was arrested on charges of six counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
“As a 29-year Alaska State Trooper I am saddened and sickened by these allegations against a law enforcement officer,” said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell in a news release. “The public places immense trust into its police officers and state troopers, and the actions of a single trooper have now tarnished that trust and the badge that hundreds of brave men and women wear each day across our great state.”
The Kenai Police Department notified troopers of an allegation against Strachan on Oct. 9, 2021, according to the public safety department. Investigators began looking into the allegations and found probable cause that Strachan abused multiple victims within the last year.
Col. Bryan Barlow, director of the Alaska State Troopers, said the investigation is just beginning.
“We would like to acknowledge the victim for having the bravery to come forward and bring these allegations to law enforcement,” Barlow said. “Today we are making these allegations and this arrest public to ensure that Alaskans have faith in the criminal justice process, and that they understand that we will hold anyone, regardless of their job or status in our society, that victimizes Alaskans accountable.”
Cockrell said Strachan has been a trooper for about two years, and is not known to have prior law enforcement experiences, and that there were no indicators of behavior similar to the allegations during Strachan’s background check on entry to the troopers. Barlow said that he couldn’t comment on whether law enforcement officials expected more victims to come forward, but that the investigation had just begun.
Strachan will be arraigned in Kenai Superior Court on Thursday morning. Strachan is currently on administrative leave, said Austin McDaniel, acting communications director for the troopers.
Those who believe they may have been a victim or have more information about Strachan’s alleged activities are asked to call the troopers in Soldotna at (907) 262-4453.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.