Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Trucker accused of 202 sex charges



By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - An over-the-road truck driver accused of soliciting parents over the Internet to have sex with their children now faces 202 felony sex charges.

A Warren County grand jury indicted Michael Cooper, 30, of Elizabethtown, Ky., Monday with 200 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and two charges of importuning.

County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said half of the pandering charges involve possession of child pornography; the remainder were for allegedly taking the pictures across state lines in his laptop.

Cooper remains in the Warren County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail since his arrest in early May.

A wary mother in Akron, Ohio, called police after she saw Cooper's request in a chat room, in which he used the screen name "iwanttobeadad" and sent out messages seeking to meet parents with kids in the Monroe area.

The woman responded to the messages, saying she had two kids under 12, and Cooper arranged for her to meet him at the Super 8 Motel off Interstate 75 in Monroe, police said.

Officers found him there along with a laptop computer that included 2,000 pictures of children in various sex acts.

Investigators said Cooper's security system on his computer was so sophisticated that they had to secure a court order to force him to provide his fingerprint to unlock the pornographic files.

"It was the absolute worst I have ever seen," Monroe Detective Michael Staples said of the photo collection.

He said there is no indication that Cooper had solicited sex elsewhere in his travels as a truck driver. "He adamantly denied having sexual contact with a minor, but he said he was trying to. He was willing as long as the parents and kids were willing," Staples said.

E-mail smclaughlin@enquirer.com




TOP LOCAL STORIES
Commandments removed amid protests
Boy, 14, guilty in fatal shooting
State's deficit keeps growing
Ballpark kisser gets 4 1/2 years

LAURA PULFER COLUMN
Art Fields is playing to win

CINCINNATI-HAMILTON COUNTY
Mom arrested, hid 13 kids from judge
City loses exclusion zone fight
CPS adds 4 administrators

AROUND THE TRISTATE
SW Ohio fails new smog standards
New owners reshaping, renaming Forest Fair
Church forum explores racism
Ann Richards bashes Bush before speech
Two schools designated as 'promising'
Tristate A.M. Report
Good News: Chamber joins support for arts in park
Obituary: John LaVelle, served church through law

BUTLER COUNTY
Longtime inmate suspected in attack
Early study results favor Liberty Twp. interchange
Teen shot, officer hurt
Monroe complex won't lose water

WARREN COUNTY
Trucker accused of 202 sex charges
I-71 crash driver has 10 DUIs
Mason drops ban on 2 seniors in prank

OHIO
Ohio Moments: Drug firm thrived from early start

KENTUCKY
Coach & Four torn down
Mayor cuts job of top city official
Priest guilty of new abuse charges
Louisville pet stores told to quarantine
Leslie Co. man dies in mine accident

SPECIAL SUNDAY REPORT: LOSING A GENERATION
Young adults leaving town
See what others are saying
Tell us what you think