EHV-1 in California November 2016 stock photo by Jean

Minnesota Horse Trainer Charged with Sex Crimes Against Teen Student

Victim afraid to report

A Minnesota saddle seat trainer is charged with molesting a former riding student. Luis Felipe Rodriguez, of Prior Lake, is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.

The 43-year-old allegedly abused a 14-year-old female riding student for about a year. It began in 2014 while he was employed by Valley Oaks Stables, located in Prior Lake, according to the criminal complaint. The alleged sexual touching began when the girl was receiving horseback riding lessons from Rodriguez.

Rodriguez left Valley Oaks Stables in the summer. He then taught at his brother’s farm in Scott County.

Rodriguez then began working at Paradise Ridge Stables in Washington County. The teen told authorities that the sexual touching occurred at all three barns when the two were alone. It allegedly included touching of her breasts, vaginal region, and buttocks — over her clothes. She told authorities she did not like to be touched by Rodriguez, “but she was afraid to say anything to her parents or the authorities because she knew she would no longer be able to train with him”.

When interviewed by detectives Rodriguez admitted he hugged and kissed the girl on the forehead. Court documents state Rodriguez admitted that he spanked the teen on the butt, but claimed it was part of her training. He denied any other contact with the riding student.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum of two years behind bars and a $6,000 fine. He is scheduled to be in a Washington County court on October 15.