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Top 10, No. 5: Goodhue 'sex room' uncovered

April 2017 courtesy photo of Michael Lowell Germain, 43, left, and his wife, Heather Laverne Germain, 49, who were charged Monday, April 24, 2017 in Goodhue County District Court with multiple criminal sexual conduct charges after authorities allegedly discovered a "sex room" in their Goodhue, Minn., garage. (Courtesy of Goodhue County sheriff)

Goodhue County authorities discovered an alleged "sex room" in Goodhue in January 2017. Michael Lowell Germain, 43, and Heather Laverne Germain, 49, first appeared in Goodhue County District Court in April on multiple criminal sexual conduct charges.

The first inquiry into the Germain residence stemmed from a juvenile female contacting Goodhue Police Department in January. According to the initial criminal complaint, the female said she was being sexually assaulted and exploited by Michael and Heather Germain.

In further interviews, the girl said she brought to a garage at 504 Fourth Ave. located across the street from the Goodhue Public School. The complaint states that the girl told investigators that Heather and Michael Germain "are 'swingers' and have a 'sex room' in the attic of the garage."

Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at the residence in January, seizing multiple electronic devices from inside the residence and garage. Several items tested positive for methamphetamine and cocaine residue.

Investigators observed that the detached garage contained an upper and a lower level. The complaint stated that the upper level could be accessed only through a door secured with an electronic lock. Authorities discovered three distinct rooms in the upper level, all separated by secured doors. According to the criminal complaint, officers found a doctor's examination table and "an open storage unit that contained multiple bottles of lubrication, large containers of disinfectant wipes, along with multiple sex toys."

Also present in the "sex room" was a large, free-standing wooden structure, estimated to be at 8 feet tall. Investigators observed that holes drilled in the structure could "easily be used to anchor or tie a person or objects to the structure," the complaint stated.

When investigators interviewed Michael Germain in January, he denied engaging in any type of sexual acts with the girl. The complaint stated that Germain said he participates in a "swinger" lifestyle in the rural community of 1,200.

After Goodhue County Sheriff's Office completed forensic examinations, they found sexually explicit videos and photos of the juvenile on multiple electronic devices, the report said. Multiple cameras and recording devices were found through the garage and residence. Investigators also found numerous photos and videos of Heather and Michael Germain engaged in sexual conduct with each other, and separately with various adult men and women.

Arrest warrants for Heather and Michael Germain were executed April 20. They were released on bond after five days.

Heather Germain faces three first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, three third-degree criminal sexual charges, neglect or endangerment of a child, interference of privacy against a minor under age of 18 and fifth-degree drug possession. Michael Germain faces three counts each of first, second, third and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two interfering with privacy charges.

The maximum sentence for criminal sexual conduct in the first-degree is 30 years imprisonment and a $40,000 fine. Goodhue County authorities filed an intent to seek aggravated sentencing in September.

Heather and Michael Germaine are scheduled to appear in Goodhue County District Court on Jan. 12, 2018, for a contested omnibus hearing.