Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Former coach pleads not guilty to sex charges

Cooper faces four felonies

Express Staff Writer


A former Wood River Valley youth lacrosse coach pleaded not guilty Monday to four felony charges for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old Hailey girl.

Douglas Drury Cooper, 42, entered not guilty pleas Monday morning during his arraignment in 5th District Court on charges stemming from a Blaine County grand jury indictment filed Aug. 2.

Specifically, the indictment charges Cooper with rape, lewd conduct with a child under 16, sexual abuse of a child under 16 and enticing a minor over the Internet.

Both the rape and lewd conduct charges carry maximum penalties in Idaho of life in prison. The sexual abuse and Internet enticement counts are each punishable by up to 15 years behind bars.

Cooper, who lives in Hailey, remains free on a $30,000 bond. He was arrested on June 23 following an investigation by the Hailey Police Department.

Cooper is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old Hailey girl that he communicated with via the Internet.

Following his arrest, Cooper resigned his position as one of the coaches of the Wood River Wolverines boys' lacrosse team, a private club not affiliated with Wood River High School.

Cooper requested a jury trial, but no date was set during his Monday court appearance.

Ketchum attorney Andrew Parnes, who represents Cooper, said neither he nor his client have any comment at this time.

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