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Anthony Cooper

Other Oklahoma Child Sex Abuse Cases
In May 1994, 25-year-old Anthony Cooper was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma on a charge of sexually assaulting his ex-wife’s seven-year-old son.

Cooper went to trial in Tulsa County District Court one year later. His ex-wife testified that her son told her that Cooper had sexually assaulted him. The boy, by then age nine, told the jury that Cooper anally raped him.

A physician testified that he examined the boy, but found no physical evidence of such an assault. The physician also testified that the lack of physical evidence did not mean the assault didn’t occur. Cooper testified and denied the assault.

On May 17, 1995, the jury convicted him of one count of sexually abusing a child. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

In August 1996, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial. The decision focused on the actions of an attorney who was representing the boy pursuant to a 1991 state law which required that a lawyer be appointed as an advocate for any child victim of a sexual assault.

The appeals court ruled that the trial judge improperly allowed the boy’s lawyer to question prospective jurors, cross-examine witnesses, bolster the boy’s credibility and cross-examine Cooper. The state law that provided for that lawyer was enacted to give the child sexual assault victim an advocate to protect his interests, not to act as an additional prosecutor, the appeals court said. In this case, the court concluded that the child’s lawyer did just that, and that as a result Cooper was unfairly “double teamed.”

Cooper was released on bond in December 1996. He went to trial a second time in April 1999. His attorneys, Kent Hudson and Pam Malone, were allowed to present evidence that the alleged victim accused Cooper of rape at a time when his mother and Cooper were engaged in a bitter custody battle over the boy himself and an infant child. In addition, the defense lawyers discovered that, years earlier, when she was a child, the boy’s mother had falsely claimed that she too had been sexually molested.

On April 9, 1999, the jury acquitted Cooper.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 9/22/2015
State:Oklahoma
County:Tulsa
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1993
Convicted:1995
Exonerated:1999
Sentence:50 years
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:24
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No