The criminal sexual conduct charge of the Cook County Attorney got underway yesterday.
Tim Scannell has been on leave from his position after he was charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl in 2012. He was 46 at the time.
He was charged with two felony counts. Prosecutors say he touched the girl intimately and with sexual intent.They also say he was in a position of authority over the girl, which will be a major point of contention during the trial. Scannell admits the relationship, but his defense attorney argues he did not use his position of authority to influence the relationship. Scanneell was a family friend of the girl.
Tom Heffelfinger, a former U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, is prosecuting the case. He argued that Scannell was a “father figure” for the girl. He coached her in sports, gave her guitar lessons and helped her apply for colleges. He said Scannell became obsessed with the girl and routinely texted her.
Scannell was in the news before. In December 2011 he was shot at the Cook County Courthouse by a man he had prosecuted on criminal sexual conduct charges involving a teenage girl. The defendant was found guilty and after the verdict was read he retrieved a firearm from his vehicle and fired in the courtroom. The shooter died later in police custody.