An Alaska State Trooper was arrested Wednesday on multiple counts of child sexual abuse, according to Alaska Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell.
Soldotna-based trooper Benjamin Strachan, 39, is charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and six counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, Cockrell announced during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
On Saturday, Kenai police notified troopers that the department had received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor involving Strachan, Crockrell said. Investigators from Soldotna, the Mat-Su Valley and Anchorage launched an investigation into the allegations and discovered evidence that Strachan had sexually abused multiple victims within the past year, Crockrell said.
Crockrell did not provide information on the number of victims allegedly abused by Strachan but said he did not believe Strachan abused the victims while on the job.
Strachan had been a trooper since June 2020 and had been assigned to the Soldotna patrol for his entire career, according to Crockrell. Strachan was immediately placed on leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, per Department of Public Safety policy.
“The investigation was handled in the same manner that any allegation of this nature is investigated, and no special consideration was given to Strachan due to his profession,” Crockrell said.
Strachan was remanded to Wildwood Pretrial and is expected to be arraigned at 10 a.m. Thursday in Kenai Superior Court.
“As a 29-year Alaska State Trooper I am saddened and sickened by these allegations against a law enforcement officer,” Crockrell said. “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. We are committed to moving forward and continue meeting the critical mission that the Department of Public Safety has of protecting the great citizens of our state.”
Troopers encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Strachan to contact the Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna at 907-262-4453.