Man pleads guilty to 14 sex crimes against family

Posted May 18, 2010, at 8:07 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 23-year-old Union man has pleaded guilty to 14 sex crimes involving the molestation of members of his family.

Benjamin Cook told police that he molested younger family members from 2005 to 2009 and pleaded guilty to 12 counts of gross sexual assault and two counts of unlawful sexual contact, according to documents in Knox County Superior Court.

He is being held without bail in Knox County Jail.

Cook’s mother called police when she was told by the family members of problems. Investigating Detective Justin Twitchell learned from the family members that the activity had been happening for four or five years.

“These events took place over several years and almost on a daily basis,” Twitchell wrote in a report.

Cook told Twitchell that he had been a victim of molestation as a young child. He also told police that he had “over-active hormones” and that “he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he could not stop himself from doing it.”

Originally, 39 charges were brought against Cook, but his lawyer, Jeremy Pratt, said the state will be dismissing the other 25 counts in a plea agreement. The original 39 charges included 21 charges of gross sexual assault, 17 charges of unlawful sexual contact and one charge of unlawful sexual touching.

Pratt said presentence investigation and forensic investigations are being conducted.

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