Man arrested for sexually assaulting child at LaPorte beach

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

From the LaPorte Police Department:

A La Porte man is now in custody after allegedly sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl at Stone Lake Beach on Wednesday.

Gary W. Cooper, 50, of La Porte was arrested and charged with rape and child molestation, both Level 1 felonies.

On July 9, at approximately 12:33 p.m., La Porte Police responded to Stone Lake Beach, 300 Grangemouth Rd., to investigate an attempted child abduction.

After further investigation it was learned that a man had approached the victim when she was alone on the hill near the beach house. The man lured her to come with him and she was sexually assaulted.

Witnesses who'd seen Cooper hanging around the park earlier provided information that led police to a residence in the 3000 north block of CR-725W in La Porte.

The victim was at the beach with her family when the crime occurred. They have no connection with Cooper who is being held at the La Porte County Jail on a $10,005 cash bond.

All defendants are presumed innocent until/ unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and are entitled to have a trial before a judge or a jury.

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