When high school students came there to party, older men often would arrive, alcohol in hand, after the bars closed."You could do things like drink underage and not get caught," said a young woman who asked not to be identified for fear her past may make employers reluctant to hire her.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.The woman said she had sex with older men, and that at least five of her friends also had sex with older men.At first, she was reluctant to spell out how many sexual partners she had in high school. "Not that it was any big relationship or anything special." Eventually, the woman revealed in emails to MPR News that before she turned 16, she had sex with about eight older men in Grand Marais.She said almost all her sexual partners were in their 20s, some 10 years older than she was.
"We started hearing about these 20-, 25-, 30-year-old men who were constantly at football games, around the teenage girls, and who somehow believed that it was a great thing to be sleeping with virgins," she said.MPR News confirmed the woman's story with a family member.She acknowledges instigating some of the sexual encounters, and said she found the attention from older men enjoyable and flattering. "And then you're looking for that even, just for that feeling." Victim advocates in Grand Marais say there is a pattern to the encounters." Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell and Sheriff Mark Falk tell the same story.Without evidence, they say, there's little they can do.