FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A 47-year-old convicted sex offender was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old family friend.
On Friday, jurors convicted Anthony Dewayne Cooper of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14. A short time later, he received an automatic life sentence after the prosecutor proved to the judge that he had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child.
During the trial in state district Judge Elizabeth Beach's court, Prosecutor Michele Hartmann presented evidence that in the spring of 2013, a 13- year-old girl told a school counselor that she had been sexually abused during the 2012 Christmas break by Cooper, who she considered an uncle. The counselor contacted authorities, an investigation was launched and a warrant was issued for Cooper's arrest. On May 24, 2013, police attempted to stop Cooper after they saw him driving on Hattie Street in Fort Worth.
Cooper failed to stop and led police on a 33 mile, high-speed chase into Dallas. Police used spikes to damage the tires on Cooper's vehicle, but he still did not stop. He continued to evade officers for at least an hour, running red lights and stop signs and endangering other drivers. He finally stopped and surrendered outside a home in South Oak Cliff. Cooper was subsequently arrested, charged, and this week, convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
In 1996, he received a 15-year prison sentence out of Dallas County for indecency with two children. Because he had a prior conviction for a child sex offense, he received an automatic life sentence for his conviction this week in Tarrant County.