Probation for man who harbored runaway teen

Published 7:58 pm Friday, January 4, 2019

An Albert Lea man whose home a runaway New Richland teenager stayed at for two days in May was placed on probation for one year Thursday in Freeborn County District Court.

Oscar Harold Mehus, 48, was sentenced after he pleaded guilty in September to gross misdemeanor contributing to the need for protection or services.

While on probation, Mehus will be expected to not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing, follow all conditions set in the probation agreement and remain law-abiding.

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Judge Steven Schwab sentenced Mehus to a stayed sentence of one year in jail.

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.

In an interview with a Waseca County Sheriff’s Office deputy, court documents state the girl 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 a May 10 interview with an Albert Lea officer, Mehus allegedly 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, but he reportedly did not try calling police.


See what happened last night in the PM report here.


About Sam Wilmes

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

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