Trial starts in Duluth for Cook County Attorney accused of sexual misconduct

By KBJR News 1

July 21, 2014 Updated Jul 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- A jury of four women and ten men will hear the case against Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell.

A Grand Jury returned an indictment last October charging Scannell with sexual misconduct charges for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Scannell is facing two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old Grand Marais girl that took place in the Summer of 2012.

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 investigation into Scannell followed the issuance of a restraining order filed by the family of the Grand Marais girl alleging Scannell had been stalking their daughter and harassing the family.

The restraining order showed Scannell admitted to a physical relationship with the 17-year-old girl, which included kissing and touching, but said nothing illegal took place.

Scannell is still the Cook County Attorney but is on an indefinite medical leave.

The trial is expected to last all week.

Around fifteen witnesses are expected to take the stand during the week.

Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday morning.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati