Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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January 2, 2013

Man gets 12 years in molest case

Brian L. Cook pleads guilty to fondling an autistic 12-year-old.

A 49-year-old Oakford man accused of molesting a 12-year-old autistic boy in July was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday.

Brian L. Cook pleaded guilty in Howard Circuit Court to Class B felony child molestation and was sentenced to 12 years, with 10 years in prison and two years of probation. As a condition of probation, Cook was ordered to register as a sex offender upon his prison release.

A second charge – a Class C felony child molestation count – was dismissed as part of the plea.

Cook was given credit for 135 days he served in jail.

Deputies of the Howard County Sheriff Department arrested Cook in August on a warrant.

The victim’s mother called the sheriff department July 6 and reported her son told her he was molested two days prior at a residence the victim was visiting near Cook’s home in Oakford.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim’s mother told investigators her son was autistic and might be hyperactive.

The victim told detectives that Cook fondled him during the morning hours. When interviewed by detectives, Cook initially denied doing anything wrong. In a follow-up interview, he admitted to police he touched the boy inappropriately, court records stated.

The mother of the victim said her son got the satisfaction of facing his attacker in court.

Even though the boy did not have to endure reliving his experience through a jury trial, he did face Cook at the sentencing hearing.

“My son is messed up for life because of this,” the victim’s mother said. “At least my son got to face the man. My son [saw] him in handcuffs and knows he’s going to prison. That was a big win for my son.”

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