GREENFIELD — An 80-year-old Greenfield man who admitted to battering three young girl has been kicked out of the assisted living facility where he’d been sent to serve his sentence amid allegations he inappropriately touched female residents there, record show.
Robert Cooper, 256 Lullaby Court, pleaded guilty to three counts of battery in November, admitting that he inappropriately touched three elementary school-aged girls, who lived in his neighborhood, when they occasionally visited his home to help him with housework, according to court documents.
He was ordered to serve 2½ years in a secure nursing home in Morgantown, officials said. Cooper has dementia, and prosecutors and the man’s defense attorney worried that keeping him behind bars was exacerbate his ailments and stretch police resources, officials said.
But two weeks into his sentence, Cooper was arrested on new sexual battery and battery charges after nurses at the facility allegedly caught him grabbing a female resident, according to court documents.
Leaders of the facility contacted Morgan County law enforcement and alerted Hancock County officials to the new allegations, asking that Cooper be removed from their care, records show.
Cooper now faces one felony count of sexual battery, two misdemeanor counts of intimidation and one misdemeanor count of battery in Morgan County, records show. He was being held in the Morgan County Jail at press time.
A warrant for Cooper’s arrest also has been issued locally as a result of the new case, accusing the man of violating the terms of his Hancock County sentence, according to court documents.
Once the case in Morgan County has been resolved, Cooper will be brought to Hancock County to answer to the alleged sentence violation, officials said.
The new criminal case against Cooper was filed Nov. 22, records show.
Nurses at the Morgantown Healthcare Facility called 911 after seeing Cooper touch two female residents, according to court documents.
Cooper stopped one woman as she was walking down a corridor and hugged her, prompting nurses to remind him he wasn’t supposed to touch others, court documents state. Moments later, Copper walked up behind another woman, reached around and groped her, court documents state.
He was immediately escorted back to his bedroom; but began shouting and cursing at the nurses and other residents, court documents state. At one point he yelled he would “get the (person) who told on me,” court documents state.
“When (Cooper) was told two nurses witnessed him touching the female resident, he stated, ‘You’re just jealous I haven’t touched you,’” a report from a nurse at the Morgantown facilities submitted to a local judge reads.
Cooper was arrested in Hancock County last year amid similar allegations, according to court documents.
Three girls came forward to tell police Cooper would touch them inappropriately whenever they were at his home helping him with gardening or walking his dogs.
The victims told police they never went inside Cooper’s house; each time he’d touched them had been while they were working in the yard, court documents state.
One girl told investigators she’d been riding her bike near Cooper’s house one afternoon when the man cat-called at her, saying “he liked her in those shorts” and asked if she was wearing underwear, court documents state.
Another girl said Cooper once took her behind the barn on his property and assaulted her, right after thanking her for the work she’d done for him, court documents state.
Cooper once told one of the victims, “You better not tell anybody that this happened; this is our little secret, or I’ll come get you,” court documents state.
Cooper pleaded guilty to three Level 6 felony counts of sexual battery to resolve the case, records show.
He now faces one Level 6 felony count of sexual battery in Morgan County. The charge carries a penalty of six months to 2½ years.
He also faces two Class A misdemeanors, which each carry a penalty of 1 year in jail; and one Class B misdemeanors, which carries a penalty of 180 days in jail.