Former Ruby pastor sentenced for fleeing

Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former Ruby pastor was sentenced to a year and a half in jail for attempting to evade prosecution by moving to Canada.

Richard Cook, 48, recently was found guilty of having molested a girl for whom he was legal guardian. At the time he had 10 foster, adopted and natural children under his care.

The allegations first came to light in April 1999 after Alaska State Troopers interviewed the girl following a suicide attempt. She told troopers that Cook had been sexually abusing her on a regular basis and in a number of ways since October 1997.

Cook was arrested shortly after the allegations surfaced and was charged with five counts of first-degree and six counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of first-degree indecent exposure.

A religious colleague posted his bail, and a short time later Cook fled to Canada. He was found there living under an assumed name and returned to Alaska in October 2000 to stand trial.

Cook will required to pay $8,361 in restitution to the man who posted his bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20.

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