MPD: Officer charged with child sex abuse no longer on forceby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police officials say the officer charged Friday with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct with young girls is no longer on the force.
Bradley Schnickel, 32, was charged in Anoka County District Court with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, and three counts of engaging in electronic communications relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child.
According to the complaint, Schnickel used social media sites to make contact with the girls. The charges allege that Schnickel used a false name and told the girls he was 22 — 10 years younger than his actual age. The complaint alleges Schnickel had sexual contact with at least two girls ages 13 and 14 years old and was involved in inappropriate communications with two other young girls online.
In July of 2012, Schnickel allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old girl after giving her vodka and Mountain Dew. Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said this is a particularly serious charge, because the girl was mentally and physically impaired by the alcohol. If convicted, the maximum penalty for the crime is 15 years in prison.
The complaint alleges Schnickel also tried to get a 13-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him, but she refused. Schnickel also allegedly sent pictures of his genitals to other young girls via social media sites and urged the girls to have sex with him. Two girls say they sent nude or partially nude photos back to him.
One girl alleges that Schnickel met with her earlier this week and told her to, "deny, deny, deny everything." Another girl also alleges that Schnickel told her to deny that she'd had any contact with him.
Palumbo said it is possible Schnickel had contact with more than the four girls referred to in the complaint. He says investigators have only gotten through one-third of the 9,000 pages of printouts of Schnickel's electronic communications.
"We may find more or we may not," he said.
Palumbo said the complaint can be amended at a later date if more victims are identified. Anoka County District Court Judge Sharon Hall set bail for Schnickel at $500,000 with no conditions of release, or $250,000 with the condition of no contact with any juvenile females, including his own children. He is also required to turn over all firearms. Schnickel's next court appearance is scheduled for March 6.
Palumbo said Schnickel has retained private counsel. However, MPR News has not been able to reach Schnickel's attorney for comment.
A Minneapolis police spokesman said Schnickel's last assignment on the force was as a patrol officer in the 4th Precinct. However, he didn't say if Schnickel was fired or resigned.
Schnickel was on the force for five years, and according to his personnel record was recommended for an award of commendation in 2011. His supervisor at the time wrote that Schnickel chased down a man carrying a gun and took him into custody. Schnickel's record also includes a list of three complaints filed in 2008, 2009 and 2001. Details of the complaints are not listed. But the record shows that no disciplinary action was taken.
Here is a copy of the complaint. Click on the tools to enlarge.
Note: The complaint contains graphic language that may be offensive to some.
- All Things Considered, 02/08/2013, 5:22 p.m.