Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hailey man faces lewd conduct charge

Suspect accused of having sex with a child under 16

Express Staff Writer

Douglas Drury Cooper

A 42-year-old Hailey man has been arrested on a felony charge of lewd conduct with a child under the age of 16.

Douglas Drury Cooper was arrested early Friday evening by Blaine County sheriff's officers following the filing of a criminal complaint by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Warren Christensen. The complaint alleges that Cooper "did commit a lewd and lascivious act upon the body of a minor child under the age of 16" in Blaine County on either June 21 or June 22.

Cooper was released from the Blaine County Jail later Friday after posting a $30,000 bond.

His attorney, Stephen D. Thompson, entered a "not guilty" plea on Cooper's behalf Monday in Blaine County Magistrate Court. Formal arraignment on the charge was set for July 17 at 9 a.m.

Cooper was also ordered to provide blood and other fluid samples at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, south of Ketchum.

Additional information was not available Tuesday afternoon. A sworn affidavit, sometimes referred to as a "probable cause" document, was completed by Hailey Police Department investigator Raul Ornelas and referred to in the criminal complaint. It was, however, absent from Cooper's court file.

Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas said the case is still new and the affidavit will be added to the file shortly. He also said additional allegations against Cooper are being investigated and other charges may be filed.

The charge of lewd conduct with a minor is one of the most serious sexual offenses under Idaho law. It is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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