Cook County Courthouse Shooting Reveals "Distrurbing" Trend

By KBJR News 1

February 27, 2012 Updated Feb 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - A high profile shooting case on the North Shore has shed light on what some call a disturbing social pattern in one Northland Community.

Before Daniel Schlienz opened fire in the Cook County court house in December, he had been convicted of criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a 15 year old, while he was in his mid 30s.

Since that incident, our partners at Minnesota Public Radio interviewed more than two dozen Grand Marais residents and found the community was struggling with a history of older men sexually engaging underage girls.

While a minority believed Schlienz did nothing wrong and pointed to others examples in the community, many sources discussed the efforts and inability to stop the behaviors.

They also discussed the negative consequences for the girls involved and frustration that few were willing to come forward and testify.

"Tim Scannell [Cook County attorney] talked about the incredible courage that it took these young women to come forward and testify, and because of that there weren't any major prosecutions along these lines prior to the Schleinz case, and that's, I think why, it was described to me by a lot of people as why it was a pretty big deal in the community when these charges were filed," said MPR reporter Dan Kraker.

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