Man jailed on lewd charges

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SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint man was arrested Monday on allegations that he molested two underage girls in Bonner County in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

John Theodore Cook is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct, a felony that punishable by up to life in prison.

Cook, 52, made an initial appearance via video feed from the Bonner County Jail on Tuesday in Bonner County Magistrate Court. Judge Debra Heise sustained Cook’s $10,000 bail and appointed a public defender to represent him, court records show.

An order was also entered forbidding Cook from having any contact with the alleged victims in the case.

Cook is accused of molesting one girl on several occasions from 1999 to 2000, when she was between the ages of 8 and 10, the criminal complaint states. He molested another girl from 2001 to 2002, when she was between the ages of 10 and 12, the complaint further alleges.

One of the alleged victims disclosed the sexual abuse after they relocated to another state, according to unsealed probable cause hearing testimony.

A warrant for Cook’s arrest was issued on Nov. 29.

A preliminary hearing to determine if the state has enough evidence to justify a trial in 1st District Court is pending.

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