MANKATO — A former manager of a Mankato cellphone store allegedly stole nude photographs off a customer’s phone and used them to create a fake dating profile.

The real woman in the photos discovered the fake profile and arranged a date to identify her imposter, charges say.

Joshua Adam Boone, 30, of Mankato, was charged with gross misdemeanor nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images Tuesday in Blue Earth County District Court.

According to the court complaint and a search warrant application:

A woman left her phone at the former Mankato AT&T authorized retailer on Holly Lane in March to have its data transferred to a new phone.

In June a friend informed the woman her photo was on a dating profile claiming to be a woman who was looking to explore being with another female. The friend conversed with the fake profile and was sent nude photos.

The woman in the photographs arranged a meeting outside a Mankato gas station with the profile’s creator. She recognized the person who arrived as Boone, the AT&T store manager. The woman then contacted police and reported the stolen photos could only have been accessed on her old phone.

Boone denied creating a fake dating profile and said he went to the gas station to meet a man who wanted to buy a cellphone.

A Mankato police detective obtained a warrant, and the dating site provided photographs of the complainant and an email address for the profile creator that started with “jboone.”

After the detective next obtained a warrant to seize Boone’s phone, he admitted he’d copied photos from the woman’s phone and had shared the photos with other people.

The store at which Boone worked has now closed. An AT&T spokesman issued the following statement: 

“This involved an employee of an authorized retailer.  These are disturbing allegations and the authorized retailer has assured us this person no longer works for them and the store in question is now closed.”

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