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Pa. man sentenced to up to 20 years for molestation

December 01, 1999

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man who pleaded guilty to sexually molesting an 8-year-old boy was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to five to 20 years in state prison.

David Lee Cooper, 19, of 2667 Cinder St., had pleaded guilty to rape on Oct. 13, according to court records. Pennsylvania State Police records said he had oral sex with the boy on at least three occasions between July 1998 and April 1999.

Cooper's mother, Karen Reitz, asked Judge John R. Walker to allow her son to serve his sentence in Franklin County Prison. Because of the age of the victim, however, Walker said the first-degree felony carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in state prison.

"Some people are inclined to mess around with children and we don't know the reason for that," Walker said during the sentencing. He told Cooper that he took into account his age and that he cooperated with police "and didn't put the child through the trauma of a trial."

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Cooper was given 70 days credit for time served after his arrest and was fined $200.

As a convicted sexual offender, Cooper will have to submit a DNA sample to the state and be required under Pennsylvania's "Megan's Law" to register his address with police when he is released from prison, Walker said.

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