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Minneapolis Cop Bradley James Schnickel Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Bradley James SchnickelA Minneapolis police officer has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing pre-teen and teenage girls who he met on the Internet.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Bradley James Schnickel, 32, of Andover was arrested on Wednesday and charged with three counts of attempted or actual third-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of engaging in sexually explicit online chats with a minor. The married father allegedly preyed on underage girls as young as 12, using the Internet to lure them into illicit sexual encounters. Investigators say there are at least five victims. Schnickel, a five-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, is alleged to have had sex with some, but not all, of the girls.

ABC 5 reports that Schnickel allegedly plied a 13-year-old girl with vodka last year before having sex with her in his car. He allegedly convinced another underage girl to send him nude photos of herself before he went to her home and masturbated in front of her in his car.

One girl told investigators she informed Schnickel that she was only 14, but that the officer told her he “likes girls your age.” The alleged victim told police that Schnickel told her he liked girls as young as 12 and wanted to take her virginity. The girl said he asked her “for sex so many times she can’t put a number on it.”

WCCO reports that Anoka County Sheriff’s deputies are combing through 9,000 pages of online communications between Schnickel and his alleged victims.

“The case remains wide open,” Paul Young, an assistant Anoka County attorney, told ABC 5.

Schnickel is no longer employed with the Minneapolis Police Department. Spokesman Stephen McCarty told reporters that it is unclear whether “he was fired or resigned.”

“That’s not going to be disclosed,” McCarty said. “There’s a union process that has to be fulfilled first.”

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau released a statement in which she called the allegations against Schnickel “horrific and against everything the department represents, our core values and our mission.”

Lori Wathen, who lives next door to the Schnickels, told WCCO that she was “just shocked” by the allegations against Bradley.

“We thought we were safe. You know, cop next door? Awesome,” Wathen said.

“I immediately talked to my daughter to make sure nothing happened to her,” neighbor Kim Gustafson told WCCO.

WCCO reports that Schnickel posted $250,000 bail and was released from the Anoka County Jail on the condition that he stay away from all underage girls, including his own daughters.

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