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Two-time burglar
Man charged with sex offenses after arrest Saturday morning
Bobby Joe Cooper
Bobby Joe Cooper - photo by Special
    While victims were at the Statesboro Police station early Saturday morning reporting a home invasion-style sexual assault on a juvenile, someone reported a burglary in progress at their North Main Street home: the offender had returned, police said.
    Statesboro Police Chief Stan York said officers arrested Bobby Joe Cooper Jr., 31, The Barn Mobile Home Park, after a brief chase around 4 a.m. Saturday.
    Police files include at least three incidents taking place on North Main Street early Saturday morning that are connected to Cooper. The first incident occurred around 2:50 a.m. when Cooper apparently "entered the residence while (the victims) were sleeping and assaulted a 10-year-old female," York said. Cooper "fled the house when the juvenile child began screaming."
    The victims went to the police department to report the incident, and were still there when officers received a call just before 4 a.m. that a burglary was in progress - at the victims' house.
    Officers arrived at the scene and found Cooper, who ran from police and fought them as they took him into custody, York said.
    Reports link Cooper to an entering auto incident in the vicinity around the same time frame.
    Cooper was taken to the Bulloch County Jail on charges of child molestation, sexual battery, criminal attempt of aggravated sodomy, two counts of burglary, entering auto and felony obstruction, York said. He remains in jail without bond.
    Cooper has an extensive criminal record, according to information from the Georgia Department of Corrections web site ( He was released from the D. Ray James State Prison near Folkston in Oct. 2006, after serving the last of three prison sentences since 1997.
    Cooper was convicted of burglary in 1995 and drug possession charges in 1997; and served five months in prison. He was found guilty of criminal trespass, criminal interference with government property and obstruction in 1998 and served two years in prison from Oct. 1998 to Feb. 2000.
    Only a few weeks later, Cooper was sentenced to six years in prison for a Feb. 2000 incident in which he was charged, then convicted of aggravated assault with criminal intent to commit rape. All incidents and charges took place in Bulloch County, according to the web site.
    Anyone with information regarding the incidents taking place Saturday morning is asked to contact the Statesboro Police Departments Criminal Investigation Division, Det. Ken Scott, at (912) 764-1542.
    "Information that is provided will be held in strict confidence," York said.
     Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.  
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