New details released in investigation against Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell

By KBJR News 1

New details released in investigation against Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell

November 15, 2013 Updated Nov 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM CST

Grand Marais, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Search warrants recently made public in the investigation into Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell shed new light on the allegations of sexual misconduct.

According to court documents, the parents of the girl that Scannell had an inappropriate relationship with were concerned long before the restraining order was filed in 2012. Scannell used to give guitar lessons to the girl three years ago, when she would have been around 14 years old. Court documents say that on one occasion when the father dropped her off for lessons, Scannell approached him and stated that "he was not sure he should be alone with her."

Search warrants recently made public say that Scannell's sister, Tara Scannell, was the one who originally reported the possible inappropriate relationship between Scannell and the girl to a Cook County School Counselor.

Tara Scannell told police that she received a phone call from her brother that lasted five minutes and she heard inappropriate interaction between Tim and the girl. She described noises she heard on the other end of the line such as "breathing, talking and wet noises."

Court documents say that Scannell called his sister the next day sobbing and crying and said he would never hurt the girl and "he cared about her."

Tara Scannell then called Tim's wife, Lynn, about the relationship, but Lynn tried to convince her to not report the incident because it would "ruin their lives."

According to search warrants, in a February 2013 interview, the victim in this case told investigators she and Scannell kissed and held hands during the summer months of 2012, when she was 17. She said that Scannell did touch her chest once, but that's as far as the relationship went.

The teen said that she and Scannell often exchanged emails and chatted online using the chat function on the game "Words with Friends."

Court documents allege that the girl was concerned about the emails between her and Scannell becoming public, as they were intimate and emotional. She stated that she might try to protect Scannell, if she thought he was going to jail.

The family of the girl filed a restraining order in December of 2012. In the order they stated that Scannell knew their daughter and had been a family friend, coach, mentor and volunteer. The order went on to say that Scannell had significant influence over their minor daughter and was in a position of power and authority based on his position as county attorney.

Evidence in this case was presented to a grand jury in October and Scannell was charged with two felony counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.

The age of consent in Minnesota is 16, but Scannell is being charged due to extenuating circumstances- that he is more than 48 months older than the victim and in a position of authority.

The case has been granted a change of venue and will now be heard in Duluth.

Scannell is expected to appear in court in January.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com