Mpls Officer Charged with Sex Abuse Appears in Court
The Minneapolis police officer accused of preying on teen girls was back in court Wednesday afternoon.
Thirty-two-year-old Bradley Schnickel was charged with three counts of attempted or actual third-degree sexual conduct and three counts of engaging in sexually explicit online chats with a minor last month.
Schnickel is out on conditional bond and is no longer with the Minneapolis Police Department. Two families of victims were at the court Wednesday and said they were "shocked" to see him face-to-face.
One of the issues discussed Wednesday was whether the bond conditions would be modified to allow Schnickel to have contact with his two children; the judge said he would not modify the conditions but might revisit it in the future.
Authorities began investigating Schnickel after Brooklyn Center police learned a then-unidentified Andover man had used social media to send inappropriate messages to a girl.
Schnickel didn't know the girls when he initiated contact through chat websites, nor did he tell them he was a police officer, Anoka County Sheriff's Cmdr. Paul Sommer said. Schnickel reached out to a number of girls, and then used their lists of contacts to strike up conversations with their friends, Sommer said.
In one case, a girl who is now 14 told investigators she began chatting last summer with someone named "Brady" who said he was 22. She said the chats turned sexual, and three months later, she sneaked out of her home to meet the man. She said they drove for a while, and then Schnickel got her drunk on vodka and had sex with her.
Another alleged victim said Schnickel sent her 15 pictures of his genitals and asked for sex at least 50 times. She said she never met him until he suddenly appeared at her bus stop a few months later, asking what police were inquiring about and telling her to "deny, deny, deny everything."
Schnickel told another girl through Facebook chats he was 23 years old, the complaint said.
One alleged victim "kept telling the defendant that she was only 14 and the defendant responded by saying he 'likes girls your age,' " according to the complaint. The victim said Schnikel told her he liked girls as young as 12 and that he wanted to take her virginity.
He asked her "for sex so many times she can't put a number on it," the complaint said.
Authorities have reviewed about 3,000 pages of the 9,000 pages of documentation in the case. Investigators continued to comb through the rest of the documents and said more charges could be forthcoming.
"This case remains wide open," Paul Young, the assistant Anoka County Attorney, said.
Schnickel's next court appearance is at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 16, in Anoka County.
Warning: the criminal complaint contains graphic details. Click here to read the criminal complaint.
Watch the video above for previous coverage of this story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.