MINNEAPOLIS -- Anoka County prosecutors weren't happy to learn that a former police officer charged with luring teenage girls is working as a security guard at a Minneapolis mall.
Bradley Schnickel faces 21 criminal counts in Anoka County, involving 18 different alleged teenage victims. Authorities have accused the 32-year-old former Minneapolis officer of having sexual contact with two of those teenagers.
One of the conditions of Schnickel's release, pending his trial, is that he have no contact with girls under the age of 17. The exceptions to that court order are supervised visits with his own daughters.
Assistant Anoka County Attorney Paul Young asked District Judge James Cunningham to find Schnickel in violation of the terms of his release, because of his job as a security guard at the Karmel Mall.
But the man who hired Schnickel stands by his decision.
"He's working here and he will continue to work. I think he's doing a wonderful job," Basim Sabri, the developer and owner of the Karmel Mall told KARE.
The south Minneapolis shopping center is a bazaar that features shops owned by Somali immigrants. It's one of many commercial and residential projects Sabri, a charismatic Palestinian immigrant, has developed.
"Mr. Schnickel's previous activity is his previous activity. I'm very aware of it, and know what it is. I'm adamant and still stand for giving Mr. Schnickel a second chance to work for us."
Schnickel's security job also includes policing the Sabri's Karmel Village apartment complex across the street from the mall.
One of the tenants called police June 3 to say that Schnickel chased her teenage son into the building and ended up in the same room as her 14-year-old daughter.
Sabri said Schnickel was trying to enforce the apartment complex rules at the time, and was not the only adult in the area.
"He's goes in there, not knowing that there's a 14-year-old, or 1-year-old, or 70-year-old person," Sabri told KARE.
"Mr. Schnickel is doing is job of looking at the interest of the building."
Sabri said that he was very fond of the tenant who made the claim against Schnickel, but notified her five weeks earlier she needed to vacate the apartment. He said he worried one of the tenant's relatives may be connected to a drug gang.
"All of the sudden this turned into, 'Oh this guy is a convicted sex offender,' or whatever, in the apartment illegally, and the whole thing got switched on him."
The only other recent police report involving Schnickel was from Wednesday, June 12, when officers responded to a call of an attempted burglary at the mall. Schnickel was listed as the victim of an assault, by the suspect accused of trying to rob on of the shops.
Pleads in Hennepin County
Schnickel was also charged in Hennepin County with four felony counts of Internet Solicitation of Children, for allegedly texting sexually explicit messages and photos of himself to two underage girls.
Thursday he pleaded guilty to two of those charges in exchange for a one-year term in the county workhouse and six years probation. A judge must still confirm the deal at his sentencing August 27.
The criminal complaint said Schnickel took on the fake personas of "Brian Schmidt" and "Brady Schmidt" in his communications with an 11-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl.
Those crimes dated to 2012, before Schnickel took the security job at the Karmel Mall.
Sabri spent 19 months in a federal prison between 2005 and 2007, after being convicted of trying to bribe Minneapolis City Council Member Brian Herron.
The developer still maintains his innocence, but says he makes a concerted effort to give released offenders opportunities to work, as long as they pose no danger to his tenants and customers.
"Mr Schnickel has two kids and a family as well. He's having difficulties finding a job," Sabri explained.
"And, by nature. I'm not normally with the strong. I'm normally with the weak. This guy's in a bind and he needs a job and he needs an opportunity."
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