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Youngsville man will register as sex offender for assault

A Youngsville man will stay in the county system — but have to register for the next 25 years as a sex offender — as a result of a sentence handed down Friday morning.

Nicholas Cox, 19, was sentenced by Judge Gregory Hammond on charges of statutory sexual assault — 4-8 years older, interference with the custody of children, and indecent assault.

Cox’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Mike Kitay, said his client has his “whole life ahead of him” but recognizes that the decisions he made here are “going to affect the rest of his life.”

He said his client has an alcohol issue, wants to help care for his nephew and obtain his GED in order to become a “productive member of society.”

District Attorney Rob Greene said he has “gone back and forth” on the potential sentence in this case.

He noted that the relationship with the 14-year-old girl that precipitated these charges was consensual and noted that the mother did not have an opinion on the potential punishment.

Greene said he has “some fear he likes younger girls” but noted there is no way to know that for sure. He asked for a no-contact/trespass order and said he would leave the sentencing issue in Hammond’s hands.

Cox prepared a letter that Greene and Hammond read and said he was sorry for his actions.

Hammond noted that Cox put together a plan to be with the girl without her mother’s knowledge but said he has also “bounced back and forth” on the sentence, balancing the severity of the crime with his age and lack of a prior record.

“My perception is (you) would have a rough go of it in state prison,” Hammond said, in revealing he would issue a county sentence.

However, he warned him that if he contacts the girl again that state prison would be the result.

Cox was then sentenced to six months incarceration to one year, $1,625 in fines and fees, to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment, submission of a DNA sample, a no-contact order with the victim or her family, 30 hours of community service, sexual offender counseling and to have no unsupervised contact with children on the statutory sexual assault charge. He is work release and early re-entry eligible.

On the count of interference with custody of children, he was sentenced to six months to one year less one-day incarceration, one-year probation, a $500 fine and 30 hours of community service.

For indecent assault, he was sentenced to two years consecutive probation, a $500 fine and 15 hours of community service.

Hammond advised Cox that the interference with custody charge is a Tier I sexual offense, requiring a 15-year registration period and that the indecent assault charge carries a 25 year registration period.

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