Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Senior molester claims 4-year-old provoked him

Senior molester claims 4-year-old provoked him

Sherri Zickefoose
CanWest News Service; Calgary Herald
Saturday, December 29, 2007
CALGARY -- A Calgary man convicted of molesting a four-year-old Illinois girl blamed the child for acting sexually provocative toward him, before a judge sentenced him Friday to three years in prison.
Kenneth Cooke, a 73-year-old retired pastor, told Judge Joseph Condon in a U.S. courtroom he tried to avoid the encounters.
"On a couple of times, I thought I was being sexually harassed. I think there is psychological evidence today that children, even in their younger years, could become interested in sex," Cooke told the judge, according to the Northwest Herald newspaper.
"He is not accepting responsibility for his actions. He could have gotten probation on this. But the judge said to give probation would deprecate the seriousness of the offence," said Sharyl Eisenstein, an assistant McHenry County state's attorney.
During the hour-long sentencing hearing, Cooke expressed remorse and said he was misrepresented and misunderstood, the Northwest Herald reported.
"I never touched that child in an inappropriate manner," Cooke said.
Cooke said he pleaded guilty because of his ailing health.
"My family felt I'd have a nervous breakdown or heart attack, so I had no other choice."
Cooke is being sent to Joliet Correctional Center in Illinois, the McHenry County Circuit Court clerk's office has confirmed.
Cooke faced seven years in prison for pleading guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under 13, said the clerk's office.
Now, with good behaviour, he would only have to serve half his sentence, or 18 months in prison.
Cooke molested the child while visiting the community of Lake in the Hills in June 2003. He reportedly met the child while one of his relatives was caring for her.
Calgary Herald
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=fd39a4fd-5d3e-4678-817d-555fea32c51b&k=28773

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