Local News: Dexter man gets 20-year sentence for incitement to childhood (4/25/22)

Robert Cooper

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. — A Dexter, Missouri man was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of inciting a child in March.

On Monday, Stoddard County District Attorney Russ Oliver announced that Robert Cooper, 42, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Judge Joe Z. Satterfield.

A Stoddard County jury found Cooper guilty of the unclassified felony of incitement to a child on March 14. The jury recommended a 20-year sentence to the Missouri Department of Corrections. Under Missouri law, the judge is not allowed to impose a sentence greater than that recommended by the jury.

The case centered on Cooper luring, via Facebook Messenger, what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl to a motel in Dexter where he arrived with a duffel bag full of ropes, gags, handcuffs, pornography and other sexual devices. However, instead of a 13-year-old girl, Cooper encountered Dexter police at this motel.

“This case should be a wake-up call to all parents about the dangers social media poses to their teenage children,” Oliver said of the trial and the recommended sentence. “Robert Cooper is a predator and if he had messaged a real 13 year old girl, defendant clearly intended that she would have been tied up, handcuffed, sexually assaulted and taken to Florida by defendant. We believe that Robert Cooper must spend every minute allowed by law behind bars to prevent him from ever having the opportunity to harm a child.

Evidence was presented showing that between September 26 and 28, 2020, Cooper engaged in a private Facebook messaging conversation with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. In reality, Cooper was communicating with an adult woman from Wayne County, Missouri who posed as a 13-year-old girl in an effort to expose predators who sought to engage in sex acts with children on Facebook. .

The conversation started with Cooper asking how old he was. She answered 13 years old. The accused then began to describe the sexual acts he wanted her to undergo. Cooper told her that she was going to be his 13-year-old sex slave, that he was going to tie her up and impregnate her.

The next day, the messages escalated and Cooper repeatedly acknowledged that she was 13 and a virgin. Cooper told her he had “other 12-year-old slaves” and they were all going to have sex together. Cooper said he was going to perform anal and vaginal sex on each of them and a dog would perform oral sex on her. He further stated that he was going to bind and gag the child while committing these sexual acts against her.

During the conversation, Cooper revealed he was in Dexter, Missouri, and told the fake 13-year-old to get a ride from one of his friends and come to Dexter to meet him.

Dexter Police Department Detective Cory Mills testified that he took over the Facebook account that Cooper was messaging the fake 13-year-old girl. During this ongoing conversation, Cooper said he was going to tie her up, gag her, perform sex acts on her, and eventually take her to Florida. Mills arranged a meeting at the Dexter Inn. Motel officials were very cooperative with the investigation and allowed Mills and fellow detective Thomas Forkum to move into one of their rooms.

When Cooper arrived in the room and was greeted by the police, without being asked any questions by the officers, he immediately exclaimed “I didn’t know she was 13”. Cooper had in his hands as he entered the motel a suitcase filled with three bundles of nylon rope, two gag ball sex toys, a blindfold, silver handcuffs, black handcuffs, a pink sex harness, a silver choke dog collar, a tape recorder, four pornographic DVDs and two pairs of stained women’s underwear.

Cooper was later interviewed by Mills and admitted he was the person engaged in the Facebook messenger conversation with the fake 13-year-old girl. He admitted that he believed her to be 13 years old. Cooper admitted he told her he was going to tie her up and make her his sex slave and said he was going to take her to Florida. But Cooper said he was just trying to scare the girl from Facebook.

After convicting him of incitement to a child, the jury arrived at a recommended sentence of 20 years.

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