County Attorney Scannell had relationship with teen months after being shot by sex offender

Categories: Law, Sex
tim scannell rect.jpg
Scannell allegedly told the girl's mom: "She's 17, she can make her own decisions, it's not like she's 11 or 14."
Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell has been hit with a court order to stop communicating with a 17-year-old girl with whom he was romantically involved.

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-- Kerry Gauthier sex scandal: Are these his oral sex-seeking Craigslist posts?

News of the restraining order has an ironic twist: It comes less than a year after Scannell was shot multiple times and nearly killed in Cook County Courthouse by a 42-year-old man who had just been convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl while he was in his 30s.

More information about Scannell's relationship with the girl comes courtesy of the Duluth News Tribune:
According to the petition seeking the restraining order, signed by both of the girl's parents, Scannell, 46, is known to the victim and her family as a friend, coach, mentor and volunteer. He gave the girl guitar lessons and coached her in a summer tennis program. The two sets of parents and their children socialized together.

The girl's mother said that Scannell came to her place of employment on Sept. 25 and told her he loved her daughter and that his relationship with her became physical over the summer with "kissing and touching, but nothing illegal." The age of consent in Minnesota is 16.

The petition states that the mother said that while Scannell was at her workplace he texted the girl and read the mother some of the love poetry he sent the girl. He also described a necklace he gave the girl. He said they talked about having children together some day, but they decided he would be too old. He said that they planned for her to go to college in the Twin Cities area so that he could visit her, and later they would move to Australia together.

The parents asked their daughter if she was in love with Scannell. She replied, "I don't think so." When they asked her about moving to Australia, she said, "I guess I thought that was a joke." She said they had done nothing illegal over the summer, leading the parents to believe that Scannell had coached her to reply that way, according to the petition.
Scannell is a married father of two. After he showed up at the girl's mother's workplace in late September, the mother made him promise to leave her daughter alone. But in the restraining order filing, the mother claims Scannell has continued to communicate with the girl even while she's studying abroad in Barcelona via texts, letters, and packages.

News of Scannell's relationship prompted the creation of "Let's get Tim Scannell out of office" Facebook page. It received 25 likes in its first four hours of existence. Scannell is currently in the midst of a five-week psychological treatment program in Arizona and has taken a medical leave from his job as Cook County Attorney.

As MPR's Bob Collins notes, there's a strange tradition of older men having sexual relationships with teenage girls in Grand Marais, site of the Cook County courthouse. And in another ironic twist, that tradition was decried by Scannell himself after he was shot last year.

From the Star Tribune:
After his recovery, Scannell was outspoken about the trend of older men preying on young girls in Grand Marais.

"That's what we should all be talking about right now: that we were able to put a stop to his preying on young girls in our community," he told the Duluth News Tribune earlier this year.

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Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

This should result in some kind of response from the legal system, getting this guy out of this job.

CinBlueland topcommenter

And? It wasn't a big deal when Kerry Gauthier was having sex with a 17 y.o. at a rest stop.

Lola House
Lola House

Cthu! Im done! The irony is much too thick!

Mary Kuennen
Mary Kuennen

You guys just don't understand their love. ;)

Greg Merkel
Greg Merkel

This guy is a world class Sleazeball!


Isn't it Ironic? Don't you think? A little too Ironic?

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@CinBlueland  Of course it was a big deal.  However it was also a very different deal.  This girl may or may not have reciprocated, and it is not clear either if she was 16 at the time this started.  What Gauthier did was consensual by both parties; apparently one time, not an ongoing relationship; and Gauthier didn't continue to pursue it after the encounter.

Gauthier also left his position; I think Scannell should do the same, for greater cause.

This guy can't seem to stop, was cheating on a marriage, and kids, and there is something especially sick about going after kids who play with your own children.  Nor did Gauthier try to make plans to run away together, taking the 17 year old away from family and friends, which would have potentially made the 17 year old totally dependent on him.

 And so far as I can find, what Gauthier did reflects very very poor judgement; what Scannell did by prosecuting someone for the same thing he was doing was incredibly hypocritical and unethical.

 What Gauthier did was wrong, and pretty sordid; this is worse.  Or, don't pertinent details matter to you?  Do you think jay walking is the same as vehicular homicide because both involve vehicles and roads?  Gauthier and Scannell are more alike than that, but still have some hugely  significant differences. 

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