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County Court report: Sentence issued for mall molester Tell North Platte what you think

Michael E. Cook was convicted Thursday on two counts of third-degree assault and disturbing the peace in Lincoln County Court and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Cook, who harassed people at the Platte River Mall, pled guilty to the reduced charges. In the deal, prosecutors dropped charges of shoplifting and resisting arrest.

Defense Attorney Martin Troshynski said his client did not recall what happened. When he showed Cook details from the arrest affidavit, Cook was surprised at what he had done.

“He made a bad choice, bought a bottle of alcohol and drank it all,” Troshynski said. “He has accepted responsibility for his actions, wants to do his time and move on.”

Cook, 33, from Colorado, was arrested May 21. Some teens said Cook told them he owned one of the mall stores and could get them discounts, then grabbed one of them by the arm to take them there.

Police said Cook also entered Claire’s and told the clerk he was a secret shopper, “made contact with her breasts,” told her she was good looking and left without paying for $100 in merchandise. A mall security guard said when he told Cook to leave, he shoved and threatened the guard, according to the police report.

When police found Cook near Sun Mart, he pulled away and resisted efforts to handcuff him.

Prior to sentencing, Cook spoke in his own behalf.

“I want to apologize to anyone whose day I ruined and to the court,” he said.

Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull said he appreciated Cook’s apology.

“Your attitude is much better than at your arraignment and I appreciate your comments,” Turnbull said.

“I am sorry for that, I was angry,” Cook said.

Turnbull set 90-day sentences for each count, but allowed them to be served at the same time and gave Cook credit for 18 days served.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/9/2017
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