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10/5/2012 6:00:00 AM
Teen spared jail, but immediately gets in more trouble
Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - An 18-year-old Colorado City man who escaped incarceration for inappropriate contact with a 4-year-old girl was sentenced Thursday to 10 months in prison for immediately violating his probation after returning home.

Prosecutors said Brandon L. Cooke had contact with the victim, did not abide by curfew, did not register with the Probation Office and admitted to smoking marijuana almost as soon as he was placed on probation June 15.

Cooke was given three years probation after pleading guilty to aggravated assault with a sexual motivation. He was caught in 2011 with the girl in her bedroom with her tights around her ankles.

Court files indicate that Cooke admitted to touching the girl's buttocks and said he became curious after hearing others talk about female body parts.

Cooke was not required to register as a sex offender by the original plea agreement. Mohave Superior Court Judge Steven Conn, who imposed the 10-month sentence Thursday, elected not to impose the registration despite Cooke's probation violation because the charge that Cooke originally pleaded to was not considered a dangerous crime against children.

Conn appeared to accept the defense's position that Cooke's limited sexual education motivated him to commit the act.

Cooke is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which has about 10,000 members living in Colorado City and neighboring Hildale. Several members of his family were present.

"I see very little about this case to suggest that the defendant is some sort of predator," Conn said.

He said Cooke would likely be back in court if he didn't modify his behavior.



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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Article comment by: user annoymous

Sounds to me like the judge is a child predator himself.

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: Flashback 2008

Today's News Herald, June 2008: Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson said Judge Conn "has a history of ignoring punishment" regarding state sex offense cases and "that sends a message that it is okay to commit such crimes." "Judge Conn has lost his reputation of being a hangman judge and facilitates abuse through lenient sentences for convicted sex offenders," Johnson said. Johnson added, in regards to this judge, the crime of drunk driving is more punishable than are the crimes of sexual abuse or even rape.

Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Article comment by: R .

Hmmm, he's got immediate access to marijuana but never had access to a computer in 18 years where he can look at every aspect of a females anatomy being used in every form and function, both natural and unnatural? What an absolutely ridiculous defense!

Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Article comment by: STUART VARON

WHAT WAS THE JUDGE THINKING??WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM THIS YOUNG MAN COULD HAVE RECIEVED...I AM SURE OR AT LEAST BELIEVE THAT HE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE MAXIMUM!!!!

Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Article comment by: mad as hell

This is an 18 yr old not a child! He IS going to keep doing the some thing unless he gets help. He knows what he is doing. What was his excuse for smoking the pot? No this judge must have been on dope for letting this guy go. I just hope this sex offender doesn't come around my children!

Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Article comment by: Just Wondering

I'm just wondering if Judge Cooke would have made a different decisions had the 4-year-old been his daughter or granddaughter. The true victim isn't not getting justice in this. It's sad.

Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Article comment by: Well shucks

So he was curious about female body parts huh? Nice one.

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: D C

Wow....do Judges have to go through professional development courses like teachers do? Maybe they should. For him to think that this guy didn't fall in to the category of sexual predator is alarming. How in the world could his religion play a part in his sentencing? This is just sad.

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: Joe Blow

Somehow I find it hard to believe that an 18-year-old Colorado City male is ignornant of "female body parts."

If Mr. Cooke does not modify his behavior and has to reappear in court, maybe Judge Conn can explain the difference in male v. female body parts?


Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: brenda mott

I believe that once sexual actions start on a minor, the prep will continue to progress to worse things. Even if it is "just some touching" the child has already learned that the "adult" can not be trusted and he/she is now able to do the same to other children. Making him register and jail time would have been the best thing for the child he offended and any other child he comes into contact with in the future.

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: Justice for Women and Minor Children of molestation

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE JUDGE, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN MOHAVE COUNTY (ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE ABUSES OF THE FLDS), AND WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?????

THE WOMEN OF THIS COUNTY BETTER TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THIS TYPE OF CONVICTION AND START ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS, OTHERWISE WE ARE ALL AT RISK OF BEING VICTIMS OF PREDATORS OF ALL AGES - WE HAVE SEEN IT LOCALLY AND KNOW OF THE CONTINUED ABUSES PERPETRATED IN THE COLORADO CITY REGION. SEXUAL PREDATORS DON'T GET "BETTER" THEY JUST GET OLDER AND MORE EXPERIENCED AT HOW TO AVOID PROSECUTION AND CONTINUE TO WORK THEIR CRIMES IN A SOCIETY THAT TOLERATES IT.

READ THIS ARTICLE AGAIN - GET WISE - STOP THE ABUSE!!


Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Wow you can get two years for stealing a couple of tv's from Walmart (see related story) but only 10 months for pulling a little girls knickers down. What's wrong with this picture. Was it because one defendent was a Mormon and the other not. Or maybe Judge Conn is a Morman. I wonder which crime the public thinks should be punished the most. Child molestation or stealing TVs.

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: DUH and DUH!

that's the way it is................. there & here!

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
Article comment by: Im curious

This makes me curious too. Why would an 18 yr old man feel the need to "look" at female body parts belonging to a 4 yr old girl?

If at 18 the man is still curious to see the female anatomy. Something is not right with the man.

Isnt the defination of preditor someone who singles out the young or weak and takes advantage of them for any reason?

I have a very hardtime buying the "Im just curious" defence. Sex with adults is to easy to find for anyone claiming a need to "practice or learn" from childen. Craigslist personal section has everything adults can imagine for those needing a lesson. One look will make you think the world is in the sewer.




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