Albert Lea man charged with gross misdemeanor in runaway case

Published 9:59 pm Thursday, June 7, 2018

An Albert Lea man whose home a runaway New Richland teenager reportedly stayed at for two days has been charged with a gross misdemeanor in Freeborn County District Court.

Oscar Harold Mehus, 47, was charged on May 25 with contributing to the need for protection or services.

Court documents state Mehus was charged after the teenager was found May 10 at Mehus’ house at 411 Commercial St. She had been missing since May 8.

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In an interview with a Waseca County Sheriff’s Office deputy, the girl reportedly said she left school and withdrew money so she could get a ride from a truck driver. She said she ended up at a McDonald’s restaurant in Albert Lea, where she met Mehus.

Albert Lea police stated after the girl was found that Mehus picked her up, intending to drive her to Burger King as it was raining, so she could get on a bus and leave the community. They reportedly did not know each other prior to the incident.

According to court documents, the teenager said Mehus invited her to his house and sold methamphetamine while she was there. She reportedly admitted smoking and orally ingesting meth after Mehus offered it to her.

In an interview with an Albert Lea officer May 10, Mehus reportedly said she claimed she was 18 when they first met, before saying she was 17, at which point Mehus said he tried to get her home.

Court documents state Mehus did not try to call police.

Mehus’ first appearance on the charge is scheduled for May 14.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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