Pedophile ex-cop Bradley Schnickel is the reason several teenage girls suffer from mental health issues. He’s also the sexual predator who has been accused of preying upon more than 700 middle and high school-age girls through online social networking platforms.
With more than 9,000 pages of incriminating correspondence, it wasn’t hard for the prosecution to prove that Schnickel was guilty. Authorities were able to provide hard evidence of his interactions with 18 known victims, which included two teenage girls — ages 14 and 16 — that he’d had sexual intercourse with. He also openly admitted to using the internet as a way to lure young girls into sexual encounters. He even used his authority as a police officer to retrieve information about one of the young girls and her family. On Feb. 12, he pleaded guilty for criminal sexual conduct and engaging in electronic communication with a child about sexual conduct. However, he’ll only be serving one year behind bars.
On Monday, May 12, Schnickel’s hearing took place in an Anoka County District Court. According to the Star Tribune, Judge James A. Cunningham sentenced the former Minnesota police officer to 30 months in prison. While the sentence does equate to two and a half years, here’s how he could end up serving just one year: According to Amanda Vickstrom of the Anoka County Attorney’s Office, he’s already served 197 days, which equates to more than 6 months. Then, there’s the possibility of a sentence reduction for good behavior. So, his sentence could actually be reduced to a bare minimum of 14 months.
The parents of several victimized girls were devastated by the ruling. Although his release will be conditional for the rest of his life, some felt that wasn’t enough since he’ll still be free.
Assistant Anoka County Attorney Paul Young even expressed that any sentence less than the 12 years prosecutors initially sought is relatively light for a man “who attacks and preys on the vulnerable.”
“Given that drunk driving… or nearly any other type of case with a single victim seems to get greater sentences… it’s tough (for them) to understand how you could have so many victims and such a light sentence here,” Young said.
However, Schnickel’s attorney, Fred Bruno, feels otherwise. Bruno expressed that he felt the sentence was appropriate given Schnickel’s unwavering commitment to rehabilitating himself. Immediately after he was arrested, Schnickel enrolled in a treatment facility to partake in an intensive inpatient sex offender program. Since his release will be conditional for the rest of his life, Bruno feels Schnickel’s actions will always be a constant reminder for him, which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“It’s not a pleasant place for a young male cop sex offender to be spending his time,” Bruno said. “Followed up by a lifetime of conditional release… that’s not a light sentence.”
Given the excessive nature of the crime Schnickel committed, do you feel that a one-year prison sentence is long enough?
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