Woman pleads to rape

Published 12:05 am Friday, May 24, 2013

Amanda Lyn Cook, 26, Thursday morning pleaded guilty to second degree rape just moments before opening arguments in her trial were about to begin.

Cook and a 15-year-old boy were found partially undressed inside a vehicle in Point A Park in the early morning hours of July 6, 2010. Joe Barton, captain of the sheriff’s posse, and Jeremy Williams, a reserve deputy, discovered Cook’s vehicle while on a routine patrol.

The DA’s office said in a statement that Cook admitted in two separate interviews that she had an ongoing relationship with the boy, and detailed for investigators the explicit text messages and photographs she had exchanged with him.

Cook changed her plea just after a jury had been selected.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter represented the state, while Elmore County attorney John Norris represented Cook.

Circuit Judge Lex Short sentenced Cook to 12 years imprisonment. Cook applied for probation, and her hearing is set for July 23, 2013.

District Attorney Walt Merrell said, “Amanda Cook had confessed to the crime, but she thought her victim was so enamored with her and so embarrassed by the thought of publicly talking about sexual acts that he would not testify against her. People who prey on kids expect that their victims will not want to relive that experience in court.  It takes great courage for a kid to stand up and testify against someone who has raped and sodomized him, especially someone he thought loved him. Cook’s actions – from 2010 until now – are reprehensible. Ultimately, though, the best thing for her victim was to be able to bring this to a conclusion without having to testify in a trial.  Now that Cook has been held accountable for her actions, this boy can hopefully find closure and move on with his life.”