Cook County Attorney Convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct
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Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell has been convicted on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Scannell's defense is expected to appeal the decision as they hold the assumption of Scannell actually having formal position of authority over the victim was baseless, and if that point was not taken into consideration then what Scannell did might have been immoral, but not illegal.
The prosecutors, however, used Scannell's own testimony: "I thoroughly and utterly and evilly betrayed (the girl's mother's) trust," as an admission of Scannell's position of authority over the girl in question. Scannell's attorney, Joe Tamburino, argued that Scannell was never, formally or directly, given any parental responsibilities over the girl.
Scannell testified that he failed to realize that his actions had hurt the then 17-year-old-girl until he saw her on the stand during the trial. He took the witness stand last week on two days. Scannell's defense produced emails and text messages in evidence to prove that it was not a one-way affair, but a two-way thing that took place. The girl had accused Scannell of kissing and sexually touching her when they went together on drives.
According to the prosecution, Scannell had abused his position of authority and when the offender is in a position of authority over the victim such conduct is fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. Scannell's sentencing would be in September.
As both the prosecution and the defense agreed, the end of the trial would help everyone concerned move forward with their lives, which in a county of only 5000 people would be a relief.
Scannell shot to national fame in 2011, after a man Scannell had successfully prosecuted for criminal sexual conduct, shot him four times in the premises of the Grand Marais courthouse.