Former northern Minnesota county attorney sentenced to jail for criminal sexual conduct

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DULUTH, Minnesota — A former northern Minnesota county attorney was sentenced to jail Friday after being convicted of sexual misconduct involving a 17-year-old girl.

District Judge Shaun Floerke sentenced Tim Scannell to 30 days in jail followed by 10 years of probation.

While he's on probation, Scannell will have to perform 300 hours of community service and register as a sex offender, WDIO-TV reported. With good behavior, Scannell could be released from jail after serving 19 days.

Scannell was replaced as a Cook County prosecutor after his conviction last summer. Jurors decided Scannell abused a position of authority when he kissed and allegedly touched the girl during drives they took in 2012. He was convicted of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

On Friday, Scannell made a tearful statement, saying he recognizes the error was his. He apologized for betraying the victim and her family, his own family and the people of Cook County.

The girl's family sought a restraining order against Scannell in 2012. The parents said in their petition that Scannell was a longtime family friend.

Scannell was on medical leave as county attorney when his trial started. He had been shot multiple times at the Grand Marais courthouse in December 2011 by a man he'd successfully prosecuted.

While calling the sentence fair and saying Scannell was taking responsibility, defense attorney Joe Tamburino said the court did not take into account that Scannell was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being shot.

"When you're suffering from PTSD, your mind is changed forever," Tamburino said.

Prosecuting attorney Tom Heffelfinger said the victim's family was satisfied, the station reported.

"There is no way to turn the clocks back and make this go away," Heffelfinger said.


Information from: WDIO-TV, http://www.wdio.com

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