Superior man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting preteen girlA man accused of sexually assaulting a preteen girl after smoking synthetic marijuana will serve an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty Friday to first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune
A man accused of sexually assaulting a preteen girl after smoking synthetic marijuana will serve an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty Friday to first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Shane Lawrence Cooper, 29 of Superior, entered the plea in State District Court in Duluth. Judge Sally Tarnowski directed an Arrowhead Regional Corrections Officer to investigate Cooper’s background before sentencing on Nov. 1. The judge also ordered the defendant to undergo a psychosexual evaluation and immediately be sent to prison.
Cooper was also charged with interference with an emergency call during the March 9 incident, but that charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. A trial had been scheduled to start on Tuesday.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Nathaniel Stumme.
According to the criminal complaint:
The victim told a social worker that Cooper sexually assaulted her more than once but that when she earlier told others they didn’t believe her or didn’t have time to listen to her. The mother of the alleged victim told police that she found a vial of synthetic marijuana and a glass pipe that she believed had been used by the defendant. She said his eyes were red and he was acting strangely.
The girl’s mother told a Duluth police officer that her daughter told her she had been sexually assaulted by Cooper. She said she grabbed a telephone to call police immediately after the alleged assault, but Cooper grabbed the phone. She then took her daughter to school and reported the allegations to a school staff member. The girl was taken to the hospital.
A social worker interviewed the girl at First Witness Child Resource Center. The girl said that Cooper had sexually assaulted her more than once.