A 32-year-old Andover man and former Minneapolis Police officer has been charged in Anoka County District Court for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl and soliciting sex from at least three other teens.
Bradley James Schnickel faces two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct in the third degree and three counts of engaging in sexually explicit conversations with minors over the computer.
He made his first court appearance Feb. 9 where bail was set at $500,000 for unconditional release and $250,000 for release with conditions. Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said at 2:50 p.m. that same day, Schnickel posted a $250,000 bond with the condition that he have no contact with minors, including his own children.
Schnickel was also fired from the Minneapolis Police Department Feb. 9, according to Sgt. Steve McCarty, Minneapolis Police.
Sommer said the sheriff’s office was ordered by the court to collect all his police equipment and uniforms.
Schnickel’s next court appearance is March 8.
According to the criminal complaint, the Brooklyn Center Police Department was informed in October 2012 that a 14-year-old girl had sex with a man named “Brady Schmidt” who she had met through Facebook.
Police executed a search warrant to learn the identity of Schmidt and discovered the owner of the related Yahoo accounts was Schnickel and that he worked as a Minneapolis Police officer.
The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Schnickel’s Andover home and took computers, phones and other items for the additional investigation.
The sheriff’s office has since been reviewing nearly 9,000 pages of electronic communication between Schnickel and other underage girls. About 3,000 pages had been reviewed at the time charges were brought.
Sommer said the investigation is still very active and charges will be amended if the facts warrant it.
The Brooklyn Center Police Department has its own case involving the 14-year-old girl who came forward and charges could be filed in Hennepin County District Court, according to Sommer.
Schnickel allegedly began having online conversations with the 14-year-old girl in April 2012 when he was 31 years old. Their conversations turned sexual and he told her he was 22 years old and wanted to meet her, the complaint alleges.
According to the complaint, they met in July 2012 when she snuck out of her house and Schnickel picked her up in a silver car with black leather interior.
They went to a park near Crooked Lake and he allegedly provided her with Svedka vodka and Mountain Dew before they had sex.
The chat logs recovered by police identify three other girls that Schnickel met online, according to the complaint.
He allegedly met another 13-year-old girl online at the end of 2011. They began having conversations on Tinychat.com in the spring of 2012 and he allegedly started sending pictures of his penis to her and she sent two nude pictures of herself. He told her he was 19 years old.
They met in the fall of 2012 when he picked her up in a red car at her Coon Rapids apartment, according to the complaint. They did not have sexual intercourse, but the girl told police that Schnickel allegedly masturbated in front of her while they were sitting in his car.
Authorities during a follow-up search warrant Feb. 6 found a silver car with black leather interior, a red car and a bottle of Svedka vodka at Schnickel’s Andover home, according to the complaint.
Schnickel allegedly began having online conversations with another girl, now aged 14, in November 2011 through Facebook. He said he knew her older sister and asked to see pictures of her. He repeatedly asked to have sex with her, but never did, the complaint alleges.
They met for the first time on Feb. 4 after he had continued to contact her. According to the complaint, he asked her what the police were asking about and told her to “deny, deny, deny everything,” and that he did not want to go to prison.
A fourth girl, age 14, began online conversations with Schnickel in December 2011. According to the complaint, she kept telling Schnickel (who she only knew as Brady Schmidt on Facebook) that she was only 14 years old, but he said he “likes girls your age.”
At one point, the complaint alleges she asked how young he would go and he responded “12.”
She allegedly told police she could not put a number of how many times he asked to have sex with her.
According to the complaint, Schnickel on Feb. 4 went to this fourth girl while driving his red car and asked if she had spoken to police and what she had said. He allegedly asked her to deny all conversations and contact with him.
Eric Hagen is at email@example.com