Update: Jury rests Thursday in Tim Scannel sex misconduct case

By KBJR News 1

July 24, 2014 Updated Jul 24, 2014 at 8:22 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- The fate of Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell remains in the hands of the jury.

Following three hours of deliberation, the jury has rested Thursday night. Deliberations will begin first thing Friday morning.

Scannell is accused of two counts of 4th degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old Grand Marais girl.

The jury just went into deliberations at 5:10 this evening.

After three days of testimony, a jury of nine men and three women will decide whether Tim Scannell is guilty on two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.

During closing arguments this afternoon, defense attorney Joseph Tamburino argued that Scannell did not sexually touch the 17-year-old girl in which he was involved in an alleged inappropriate relationship with.

He also argued that he also was not in any position of authority over the girl during that relationship.

A major part of Tamburino's closing arguments was the shooting of Scannell in December of 2011 by Daniel Schlienz at the Cook County Courthouse.

Scannell said to investigators and on the stand that if it wasn't for the shooting, the relationship with the teen would not have happened.

Tamburino said after the shooting Scannell suffered from depression and P-T-S-D, and the young girl made him happy...he went on to say it may have been an immoral relationship, but not illegal.

Tamburino argued that the two kissed, and kissing is not a sex crime.

Prosecutor Tom Heffelfinger argued that Scannell blamed everyone else for his actions, and ultimately laid the blame for the relationship on Daniel Schlienz.

He said there was no doubt the defendant suffered a lot in the shooting, but it was not an excuse for a relationship with the young girl.

Heffelfinger said Scannell betrayed the teen's trust, as he was in a position of authority over her and broke that trust.

The prosecution argued that either the victim or Scannell was lying on the stand- and asked the jury to look at who has the most at stake here.. saying Scannell runs the risk of a conviction and losing everything.

The 17-year-old teen, now 19-years-old, testified earlier in the week saying her relationship with Scannell turned physical.

She stated that he touched her breasts, stomach, and butt.

She said Scannell pressured her to have sex and oral sex with him one occasion and she said no.

The girl said she was fine with the acts while they were happening, but very confused.

She said on the stand that she knew what they were doing was wrong, but didn't want to lose Scannell in her life.

Whether Scannell held a position of authority over the alleged victim at the time of the incident is a major part of this case.

Under Minnesota law, anyone 16 and up can consent to sexual activity.

However, if the victim is 16 or 17 and the other party is considered, say, a coach or a father figure, then it would be illegal.

The jury in this case is not sequestered. They could deliberate all night, or call it quits and start again Friday morning.

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