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La Pine man accused of explicit messages pleads guilty to luring a minor; 2nd charge dismissed in plea deal

KTVZ file

Son, meanwhile, awaits plea entry for rifle shot into jail

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A La Pine man arrested at his Sunriver business last month after a teen seeking a job told her mother he’d been sending her sexually explicit messages pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of luring a minor, admitting he did so with an undercover police officer who continued the exchanges.

In a plea petition signed Tuesday, John Matthew Cooper, 54, admitted sending explicit messages to the officer posing as a minor to induce the presumed minor into sexual conduct.

The Class C felony carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $125,000.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors will drop the second count in the indictment, of attempting to use a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct – a Class B felony. They will recommend a sentence of 30 days in jail, with credit for time served, three years’ probation, sex offender registration and conditions and no contact with the victim. 

At Wednesday’s plea hearing, Deschutes County Circuit Judge Alison Emerson set Cooper's sentencing for May 16.

Cooper’s 25-year-old son, Nicholas Cooper of Sunriver, was arrested later the same day. He's accused of firing a high-powered rifle shot into the county jail from across Highway 20 and later leading police on a high-speed, at times wrong-way chase on Highway 97 before spike strips and a pursuit immobilization technique were used to stop him. No one was hit or injured in the jail shooting, but it required repairs.

Nicholas Cooper was indicted on 18 charges, including attempted premeditated murder of a police officer with a gun. His plea hearing is set for next Monday.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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Barney Lerten

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