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Minn. city councilor accused of groping woman at bar, claims he's a 'political target'

Kevin R. Scaia, 50, of Chisholm

CHISHOLM, Minn. — A Chisholm city councilor is accused of groping a woman he approached at a bar last month.

Kevin R. Scaia, 50, of Chisholm, has been summoned to appear in court Nov. 30 after a complaint was filed Thursday, Oct. 5.

Surveillance footage shows the alleged groping incident about 1 a.m. Sept. 6 at the T&T Dome Bar, a Chisholm bar. Scaia is expected to be charged with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor.

Court documents state:

Scaia approached two women, who were sitting next to each other, after getting off his own bar stool. He then stood directly behind the victim and proceeded to reach both of his hands underneath her arms and around her, squeezing both of her breasts. The female used her hands to get Scaia's hands off of her. He then proceed to put both of his arms around the two women while still standing behind them.

The woman told Scaia to "knock it off" and to leave them alone. He then prodded her by stating "oh, come on" and using her name.

In an interview with law enforcement, Scaia initially denied any sexual contact and then said he "may have hugged the victim face to face."

Officers informed Scaia of video surveillance from inside the bar, at which point he stated he "didn't mean anything by it" and added that "it was just something I did."

Scaia then described himself as "a political target" and that he "believes somebody within the city is behind the allegation."

Elected into office in November 2014, Scaia is a first-term city councilor and works as an advertising executive for Hometown Focus, a newspaper based in Virginia, Minn. Messages left Monday evening for Scaia were not returned.

According to the Hometown Focus website, Scaia joined the newspaper "with a very diverse background that includes several years as a Transportation Security Inspector at Chicago O'Hare Airport, a FEMA special assistant during Hurricane Katrina, a gig as president of a security and investigative agency, a barbeque restaurant manager, and work as a funeral director/embalmer."

The website also describes him as a certified Minnesota State High School League official for basketball, football, baseball and softball, and a member of Range Coaches and Officials Association.

A search of Scaia's criminal history in Minnesota reveals a careless driving conviction, a plea in which a DWI charge was dismissed, in May 2014.

If convicted, Scaia faces up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.