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Cook Co. Attorney Sexual Conduct Case: More Details

Updated: 03/27/2014 10:22 PM
Created: 03/27/2014 4:44 PM WDIO.com

The top prosecutor for Cook County appeared at the defendant's table in Duluth on Thursday. 

Tim Scannell was indicted last fall on two counts of criminal sexual conduct. He's accused of sexually touching a 17-year-old girl, who had been a family friend for years. A pivotal part of the case, according to his attorney, is the "position of authority" argument.

Joe Tamburino, Scannell's attorney, said that Scannell was NOT in a position of authority when the alleged touching happened. "He was no longer her tennis coach. Several years BEFORE this, he was."

Tamburino also said, "There's a difference between morality and the law." He's asking the judge to dismiss the indictment, citing evidence issues.

Special Prosecutor on the case, Thomas Heffelfinger, argued extensively that Scannell was in a position of authority over the girl. "There's a laundry list of reasons he was still in a position of authority, including being a coach and asking her to be a co-coach." Heffelfinger said the coaching dates back to when the girl was in the 3rd grade.

Heffelfinger told the court that Scannell lied to the BCA, when he was asked about the touching. He also said that the touching happened in the back of the Scannell family van.

This all came to light when the girl's parents petitioned for and were granted a restraining order against Scannell, in December of 2012. After a lengthy investigation, a grand jury indicted Scannell.

Judge Shaun Floerke said he will rule on the motion to dismiss, in two weeks time.

Several members of Scannell's family were in the courtroom.

According to Cook County officials, Scannell remains on medical leave, although he is in contact with his office staff.

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