Rochester man pleads guilty to sending threatening email to cop

Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) – A man is awaiting sentencing after recently pleading guilty in a criminal case involving a senior Rochester Police Department official.

Court records show the Rochester man had frequent contact with the RPD and Olmsted County Court over the past year.

Most of the contacts concerned complaints of harassment.

A total of nine Harassment Restraining Orders (HROs) involving 37-year-old John Dewey Church were approved by judges between May 4 and July 6 last year. He was later charged with violating some of these orders which barred him from contact with the victims.

Olmsted County ADC

Olmsted County ADC

Church was also charged with one count of making terroristic threats involving the police supervisor. According to the criminal complaint, this case originated in an email sent by Church to RPD leader Jim Franklin:

In early 2021, Rochester Police Department investigator Craig Jacobsen was investigating alleged violations of a harassment prohibition order involving Mr. Church. On June 3, 2021, Mr Church emailed Rochester Police Department Chief Jim Franklin expressing his displeasure with the investigation.

Here is the mail :

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Olmsted County Court
Olmsted County Court

According to court records, Jacobsen’s supervisor reviewed the email and responded. The supervisor then received a series of emails from Church over a period of several days. One of them indicated that he knew where the supervisor lived. It also included a comment about going to the supervisor’s home while he was at work “to discuss with the Mrs.”

While you’re at work tomorrow, I’ll come and chat with Mrs., grab your favorite guitar and serenade her until I (expletive omitted) make her silly on your bed. Arrest me (expletive omitted).
Church of St. John D

This email led to the felony charge being filed against Church.

Olmsted County Court
Olmsted County Court

After receiving the emails, the supervisor obtained an HRO against Church. His order request included this comment:

My family and I are extremely threatened and frightened by the Church.

The order was approved the day after the application was filed, which was also the day the criminal complaint was filed.

Church is expected to be sentenced in July after recently pleading guilty to five counts, including the case involving the officer.

Olmsted County Court
Olmsted County Court

Church is also facing a child pornography case that was filed against him last year. This case is based on evidence uncovered during the investigation of some of the harassment complaints.

Olmsted County Court
Olmsted County Court

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