When her daughter was a student at Cook County High School, she and other concerned parents pushed for a rule banning non-students from school dances and other functions.They wanted to reduce the number of opportunities for older men to pursue girls.The woman, now in her 20s and a college graduate, grew up in Cook County and came to a lot of "pit parties" when she was in high school.
"Back in them days, it was acceptable," said Perry Wilson, who is quick to defend his friend Schlienz.
"That's the way it was — 16-, 17-year-old girls; that was their boyfriends back then was a 25-year-old guy." In Grand Marais, most people know Wilson by his nickname, "Proof," short for "Hundred Proof." Wilson, now 53, arrives at a local cafe unshaven, in sweatpants and a jacket.
In short, there's little dispute that high school-age girls had sex with adult men who were much older. But it is illegal in Minnesota for an adult man to have sex with a girl under age 16.
Parents and authorities in Grand Marais say they tried to stop older men from having sex with all high school girls, whether they were younger or older than 16.
When high school students came there to party, older men often would arrive, alcohol in hand, after the bars closed.