The case started with a complaint filed in Brooklyn Center
By Eric Hagen
A 32-year-old Andover man and Minneapolis Police officer has been charged in Anoka County District Court for 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 appeared in Anoka County District Court Friday when bail was set at $500,000.
Schnickel was also fired from the Minneapolis Police Department on Friday, according to Sgt. Steve McCarty.
According to the criminal complaint, the Brooklyn Center Police Department was informed last October that a 14-year-old girl had sex with a man named “Brady Schmidt” whom 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 on 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 forth.
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.
According to the complaint, they met in July 2012. 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 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 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 Schnickel masturbated in front of her while they were sitting in his car.
Authorities during a follow-up search warrant Wednesday, 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.
They met for the first time last week on Feb. 4 after he had continued to contact her. According to the complaint, he asked her what the police were asking about. He allegedly old 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, she asked how young he would go and he responded “12.”
She 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.
Contact Eric Hagen is at [email protected]