Texarkana senior sentenced to federal prison for failure to register as a sex offender

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A 62-year-old Texarkana man received a three-year federal prison sentence Monday for failing to comply with state and federal sex offender registration laws.

Bobby Charles Cooks, 62, appeared Monday morning with Texarkana attorney Craig Henry before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder for sentencing. Cooks has been in federal custody since July 8.

Cooks, 62, is required to register as a sex offender 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.

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Cooks admitted in plea documents that when he moved from Texarkana, Ark., to Texarkana, Texas in April, he failed to report his change of address to authorities in Arkansas and did not make any attempt to register with Texas officials. Cooks formally entered a guilty plea in October.

Henry filed a sentencing memorandum last week asking the court to consider Cooks’ failing health when determining punishment. Henry’s memorandum states that Cooks is suffering from illnesses which may mean even a few years confinement is a life sentence for the aging offender.

Shroeder sentenced Cooks to 36 months, a sentence which falls within the U.S. sentencing guidelines range for a defendant with Cooks’ criminal history and current offense. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Wulff represented the government. Upon release from prison, Cooks will be supervised by federal authorities for three years. If he continues to disregard sex offender registration requirements, he could face more time behind bars.

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