ST. GEORGE — A local man was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a child, accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in the basement of a residence.
The charges, issued last Tuesday, stem from a months-long investigation that began March 10 when a detective was assigned to a case involving allegations of sexual abuse against a suspect, 34-year-old Jeremy Cook of St. George.
According to court documents filed in support of the charges, the investigation was set in motion when a 15-year-old disclosed that he was sexually abused by the suspect, who was a friend of the family at the time, on three separate occasions in 2017. All of the alleged incidents took place when the teen was 12-years-old.
During a forensic interview, the youth told police that at the time of the abuse, the incidents took place in the basement of a family member’s house, where the 12-year-old and the suspect played video games together.
Reports described the suspect showing the boy pornography that was on Cook’s cell phone, while he sexually abused the adolescent during each of the three alleged incidents.
On July 1, charges were filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office that included two first-degree felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, as well as two third-degree felony counts of dealing in materials harmful to a child. A $30,000 warrant was issued for Cook’s arrest that same day.
On Monday night, the suspect was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility where he was being held on $63,000 bail. Cook was released a short time later after posting bond.
The suspect is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court on Aug. 31.
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