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Cook County Attorney's sexual conduct trial moved from Grand Marais

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The embattled Cook County Attorney will not be tried in the courthouse where he was once the top prosecutor.

The Northland News Center reported that a judge ruled on Tuesday afternoon that Tim Scannell's trial will be heard in Duluth, not in Grand Marais, where he has worked for the past seven years.

Scannell, 47, made his first appearance after being indicted by a grand jury on two counts of criminal sexual conduct. His attorney Jim Tamburino and Special Prosecutor Tom Heffelfinger agreed that a change of venue was necessary, due to the high-profile nature of the case. 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Shaun Floerke, who will hear the case, granted the request.

Scannell's next court appearance is scheduled for January.

The Duluth News Tribune reported that Scannell was indicted on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Her parents filed a restraining order against him last December. The petition states that the girl’s mother said Scannell told her that his relationship with her daughter had become physical with “kissing and touching, but nothing illegal.”

A special prosecutor investigated the case after the Cook County Sheriff asked the BCA to investigate Scannell.

In 2011, Scannell was shot after a guilty verdict was read against a man he successfully prosecuted for criminal sexual misconduct with a minor.

Scannell has refused to step down despite weekly protests outside the courthouse. Last month he went on medical leave.

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