Man pleads guilty in federal court to sex offender registration violations


A man convicted of sexual abuse in Texarkana nearly 20 years ago plead guilty last week in federal court to failing to register as a sex offender after he moved across the state line.

Bobby Charles Cooks, 62, is required to register regularly and to notify authorities if he moves, changes jobs or plans to travel. Cooks plead guilty in Miller County, Ark., in 1998 to sexual abuse, residential burglary, robbery and battery and received a 10-year prison sentence. State court records and the Arkansas Department of Correction show Cooks has violated sex offender registration laws again and again. Cooks has received several terms of probation in Miller County for failing to register as a sex offender and for being a sex offender living too close to a school or daycare. Those probation terms were later revoked.

Cooks appeared last week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas for a plea hearing. With the help of Texarkana lawyer Craig Henry, Cooks admitted his guilt. According to a federal indictment, Cooks violated sex offender registration law in April and July. Cooks admitted in plea documents that he moved from Texarkana, Ark., to Texarkana, Texas in April and failed to report his change of address to authorities in Arkansas and did not make any attempt to register with Texas officials.

Cooks will appear before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder for sentencing once the court has received a pre-sentence report including a recommendation for sentencing under federal guidelines. Cooks faces the possibility of a fine up to $250,000 and up to ten years in federal prison.

Cooks has been behind bars since his arrest in July.

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