A Fort Worth appeals court has affirmed two prison sentences — one for life, the other for 20 years — in the 2011 trial of a Saginaw man who, according to the trial judge, was "a serial child rapist."
The ruling was announced Monday by the Parker County district attorney’s office.
During the trial in Weatherford, Johnathan Eugene Cooper, 26, pleaded guilty to the October 2008 aggravated sexual assault of a child and online solicitation of a child. He also chose to have District Judge Trey Loftin assess his punishment.
In his appeal, Cooper argued that he should get a new trial, claiming that he had wanted to withdraw his guilty plea during the original trial.
Last week, however, the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth noted that the trial transcript showed that the judge and Cooper’s own attorney "specifically asked him if he wanted to change his plea and he told them that he did not," according to a news release from Assistant District Attorneys Nikki Morton and Jeff Swain, who prosecuted the case.
"Cooper also complained that certain exhibits were not properly linked to him at trial and that evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant should not have been admitted," the news release stated. "He was overruled on those grounds as well."
During the trial, five women testified that they had sex with Cooper when they were between 13 and 16 and he was an adult. One of them also said that he told her that he previously had sex with an 11-year-old.
During sentencing, Judge Loftin told Cooper he was a "serial child rapist" who was "obsessed with young girls."
-- Bill Miller