LaPorte man accused of sexually assaulting girl had approached other children

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

We have learned more about how a LaPorte man allegedly coaxed a girl away from her family on Stone Lake Beach in order to molest her.

Gary Cooper, 50, was arraigned Wednesday.

Court documents reveal the girl was picking flowers with her sister during the family's trip to the beach on July 9.

When the sister left, Cooper approached the eight-year-old, taking her by the arm and leading her into the woods.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that he was scared off when the girl's mother started calling her name.

Earlier in the day, police say Cooper tried to get a boy to give a stuffed teddy bear with a phone and note inside to a lifeguard at the beach.

Cooper faces another hearing on September 19th.

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