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Carbon Co. man given state prison term for assaulting young girls

Published May 15. 2012 05:02PM

A Carbon County man was sentenced to a state prison term on Monday for sexually assaulting two young girls.

Jeffrey David Cope, 22, of Lansford, was sentenced by Judge Steven R. Serfass to serve a total of 10 to 20 years in a state prison on charges of rape, rape of a child, corruption of a minor, criminal conspiracy-harassment, and four counts of indecent assault. He previously pleaded guilty to the charges. He also pleaded to a count of disorderly conduct for an incident at the county prison.

Cope admitted having sexual relations with a then 8-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl. He was also accused of having inappropriate contact with a 7 or 8-year-old girl.

Cope was arrested by Nesquehoning police for incidents involving the 8-year-old that occurred over a two-year period. When first confronted with the allegations Cope admitted to having sexual contact with the girl once, then later claimed that the girl instigated the contact.

While investigating the matter police learned of the assault of the 15-year-old. The assaults on the older girl occurred during the time frame of July 2007 through May 2009. Police also charged Cope threatened the older girl with bodily harm if she did not have sex with him and told her if he could not get at her, he would have one of his friends do it.

Serfass ruled that the charges fall under the provisions of Megan's Law and that Cope will have to register as a sexual offender for life and submit to a sexual offender evaluation once placed in the state system.

Serfass also ordered Cope to supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, get both a drug and alcohol (D&A) and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and have no contact with any of the victims.

He was given credit for 803 days spent in jail on the charges.

After the sentencing defense attorney Kent D. Watkins made an oral motion to have Cope withdraw his guilty pleas which was denied by Serfass.

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