Jane Doe and her family spoke of her fear, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, and pervasive sense of violation.
Democrat David Cook, who served as a city council member in Sonoma from 2012 to 2020 and was the city’s mayor in 2015, was sentenced to serve 6-years in prison for molesting an 11-year-old girl.
The former Sonoma Mayor appeared in court before Judge Robert LaForge in Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa last Wednesday, awaiting sentencing on a single count of molesting an 11-year-old girl. After listening to a series of emotional victim impact statements from both the victim referred to as “Jane Doe” and her family, the judge sentenced Cook to a prison term of six years.
Sonoma Index-Tribune reports, Cook has been out on $250,000 bail since the morning after his arrest on Oct. 27. In April, he entered a “no contest” plea to the felony charge of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.
His sentence could have ranged from probation to eight years in prison, but the judge was moved by statements delivered in person by victim Jane Doe, her stepmother, and her father as well as statements by Cook’s wife, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Lukas, and Cook’s defense attorney, Chris Andrian. Cook did not speak on his own behalf.
Court documents reveal that on October 25th, the then 11-year-old Jane Doe confided in her stepmom, telling her that David Cook had been molesting her for the past two months. Her stepmother said, that “the suffering (Jane) has endured is heartbreaking,” adding, “She is not the same person she was before (David) molested her… and she wonders if she can ever trust any man again the rest of her life.”
Jane Doe’s father said his daughter had “gone from a happy young girl to one filled with anger and pain,” and he feared Cook “will do this to others.”
Cook’s wife Kiersten sought a restraining order against him after his arrest, moved out of Sonoma County, and filed for legal separation in March. She showed up in the courtroom for her husband’s sentencing, denouncing his actions in a statement while asking the judge to consider parole instead of a prison sentence.
Her statement to the judge admits that “what David did was wrong, but I am in really a hard spot here because if he goes to jail, I’ll have no source of income which will be devastating to me and our children.” Her statement continued with, “I hope his punishment won’t punish me and my family anymore.”
In his statement to the court prior to sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Lukas stressed that Cook, age 55, had “repeatedly engaged in acts of molestation of the 11-year-old child.” He stated that “the nature and seriousness of this crime” and that Cook’s “lack of remorse” warranted a prison sentence, not parole.
Former Sonoma Mayor David Cook sentenced to 6 years for child molestation <BR>https://t.co/wLQVUsL9dj
— GeckoMom (@Sewardesque) July 29, 2021
Cook’s attorney asked for probation, arguing his client had accepted responsibility and was “amenable to treatment”.
Thankfully Judge LaForge didn’t see it that way, and after taking all statements and testimony into account, said, “(Cook) never once said he was sorry and that struck me as I read all of the reports (prepared for the court),” saying, “he focused on how all of this was affecting him.”
As he prepared to hand down his sentence, LaForge said, “When it comes right down to it, she was 11 years old.”
A six-year sentence seems far too lenient for such a heinous crime but considering the lawlessness we’ve witnessed over the past year, especially where democrats are involved, it comes as a welcome surprise.