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Jury Selection Completed in Scannell Trial, Opening Statements to Begin Tuesday

Updated: 07/23/2014 12:02 PM
Created: 07/21/2014 4:51 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
blesavage@wdio.com

The trial for Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell, who is charged with sexually touching a 17-year old girl, began Monday in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth. 

Judge Sean Floerke is presiding over the trial. Scannell's attorney Joe Tamburino and the prosecuting attorney Tom Heffelfinger questioned about 40 potential jurors Monday. The court called in seven of those jurors separately to ask them about potential conflicts, including some who have had experiences or know someone who has had experiences with sexual abuse in the past. The questioning continued well into the afternoon.

Former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger, who was appointed to review the case, says jury selection was completed. Opening statements will take place Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Scannell first made headlines in December 2011 when he was shot in the Cook County Courthouse. He then made news again when he was charged with two counts of 4th-degree criminal sexual misconduct for relations he allegedly had with the girl. 

The relationship came to light when the girl's family filed for a restraining order in December 2012. The order states Scannell confessed that he was in love with the girl in September 2012.

The Cook County Attorney's office told Eyewitness News Monday that Scannell is still on a medical leave he took from the position in October 2013. Scannell and some of his family members were present in the courtroom Monday. 

The trial is scheduled to continue throughout the week. 

(Copyright 2014 WDIO-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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