Local police officer forfeits license

Reported by Lisa Rantala email

Posted by Kate Oatis email

CITY OF OREGON -- Richard Cook, 27, has forfeited his police officer certification upon judgment from the court that he offered fake IDs to teenaged girls.

Police say while working at the Northwest Ohio Development Center, Cook used databases used only by law enforcement to find thousands of underaged girls. To most of his contacts, he posed as an underaged girl and offered the IDs for money. But police say in one case, he offered a fake ID in exchange for sex.

Police say they started to investigate Cook in January. They say he found thousands of underaged girls through MySpace.com, and contacted them saying he'd provide them with fake IDs.

Cook's attorney, Jerry Phillips, maintains his client made no IDs for anyone and that he used the offer as a "pickup line. This is just a person who was lonely and it was a way to meet people, meet young ladies."

Eighteen-year-old Kendall Meyers told Cook to stop contacting her after receiving 15 messages in less than two hours. She said he even knew where she lived.

"I was at home, by myself, at night... So, I just left my house and I was balling my eyes out," Meyers said. "I guess you really can't trust anyone. Just because he's a police officer doesn't mean he's obeying all the laws."

Cook will spend 10 days at CCNO and will be monitored by electronic bracelet for 45 days. He is also on three years of probation.