Edmonds suspect targeted Asian girls

Court records show a pattern of abuse
By Brian Soergel | Nov 02, 2018

New information is shedding light on the criminal history of a 50-year-old man charged with first-degree molestation of a 10-year-old girl in Edmonds last month.

Court documents show that Jeffrey Allen Cook of North Bend, a white man with a seeming predilection for adolescent Asian girls, was convicted of two counts of child molestation in Fulton County, Georgia, in 1998.

He was sentenced to five years’ probation.

In addition, police arrested Cook in March 2016 at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in DeKalb County, Georgia. A store employee saw him walk up behind a young Asian girl and touch her on the buttocks before quickly leaving the store.

When later detained and questioned by police, he admitted to the contact and said he had previously sought help to treat what he called a “sex issue.”

Court documents also show that Cook was convicted of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes in King County in 2017.

Edmonds police obtained a police report showing that Cook entered a store in Seattle’s International District and followed a 12-year-old Asian girl to the back of the store and made a lewd comment to her before quickly leaving.

He was sented to a year in jail and two years’ probation in September 2017.

Cook’s molestation charge in Edmonds stemmed from an incident at 99 Ranch Market, an Asian supermarket, on Sept. 15.

A security camera captured Cook lingering in the store’s busy fish department, according to the police report. The video showed him following a mother walking with her two young daughters.

At one point, the suspect cut in front of them, forcing them to stop. Just prior to the assault, the suspect is seen with his left hand in his left-hand shorts pocket. It was then, the report states, that he appeared to brush his hand onto the front part of the girl’s body. She reported that he touched her private area between her legs.

The suspect then quickly exited the store, and the mother called 911.

About an hour later, the same suspect entered the Asian food market H Mart in Lynnwood, as verified by Edmonds Police after looking at surveillance video from that store. An anonymous tip had come from a father who reported the same man tried to sexually assault his daughter after the incident in Edmonds.

After poring over more than 80 tips from the public, detectives and the Street Crimes Unit of the Edmonds Police Department arrested Cook Oct. 3 at a mobile home park in North Bend.

The next day, Edmonds officers with a search warrant for Cook’s residence and found a pair of blue cargo shorts with a white tag above the right back pocket, matching the shorts seen on the surveillance video in Edmonds. They found slip-on shoes that also matched.

Police also found a receipt from an Albertsons supermarket in Lynnwood.

While at Cook’s residence, a neighbor showed them two light-blue T-shirts. The neighbor said the shirts belonged to Cook, and he had them because he’d let Cook use his washer and dryer.

Officers also found a pair of dark sunglasses in Cook’s vehicle that matched those he was wearing in the surveillance video.

According to the court documents, Cook has no known connections to Washington state, and told detectives he recently moved here from out of state.

Partly because he was considered a flight risk, Cook’s bail was set at $500,000.

 

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