Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Trial reset for coach charged with rape

Express Staff Writer

Douglas Cooper

Jury trial has been rescheduled for former youth lacrosse coach Douglas Drury Cooper, who is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old Hailey girl.

Earlier scheduled to begin on Nov. 1, the trial is now set to start on Jan. 9, 2007. According to Blaine County court records, the trial is expected to last from four to five days.

"We are still awaiting DNA analysis from the state lab," said Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas in explaining the delay.

Cooper, 43, of Hailey, was indicted by a Blaine County grand jury in August on four felonies. He is charged 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 up to life in prison. The sexual abuse and Internet enticement counts are each punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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

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.

The case will be heard by 5th District Court Judge John K. Butler, who normally serves in Jerome County. Judge Robert Elgee, who serves in Blaine County 5th District Court, removed himself from the case because of a conflict of interest.

Cooper is represented by Ketchum attorney Andrew Parnes.

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