Man gets 50 years in child sex abuse

A 56-year-old Hood County man who admitted to investigators that he repeatedly molested a child was sentenced on May 30 to 50 years in prison, District Attorney Rob Christian said.

Jessie Lee Cooper, of the 6600 block of Christa Court in Rancho Brazos, pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child in a plea bargain, Christian said.

The DA noted that Cooper must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison, so he will be 81 when eligible for parole.

Christian noted that Cooper is in poor health.

Cooper was an acquaintance of the victim, who was 11 years old when the molestation occurred but is now an adult. The victim reported the abuse to a family member last November.

After Sheriff’s Office deputies learned of the accusation, they reported it to the Hood County Child Abuse Task Force.

Cooper’s trial had been scheduled for the week of June 23.

Cooper, however, “requested a plea bargain offer for a substantial amount of time to avoid a public trial for himself and the victim,” Christian said. “After consulting with the victim and her family, the DA’s Office made the 50-year plea bargain offer.”

The victim read an impact statement as Cooper stood before Walton in court.

“Through the investigation and trial preparation, I have gotten to know the victim and her family,” Christian said.

“In the beginning, I was worried that the victim would not be able to confront the defendant in court. I am glad that she found the confidence and courage to read her victim impact statement to the defendant.”

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