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Bond reduced for accused Decatur sex offender, but he could face more charges

Bond reduced for accused Decatur sex offender, but he could face more charges


DECATUR — Skylar L. Cook of Decatur, who has pleaded not guilty to the aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a teenage girl and violating sex offender registration rules, appeared before a judge Thursday and had his bond reduced from a total of $150,000 to $105,000.

Cook’s defense attorney, Todd Ringel, argued before Macon County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Geisler that the combined bond on the multiple charges was too high. He had asked for a new bond total of $75,000.

Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz said more charges involving other children might be filed against Cook. She told the judge the bond was set appropriately, given the severity of the charges he’s already facing.

Kurtz said detectives were still combing through Facebook data and had identified “at least one other minor victim” in Decatur from whom Cook solicited indecent photographs. “... So we’re looking at other additional charges,” she said

Cook, who was arrested March 30 following a police investigation, is currently facing two counts of the aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl he met on Facebook and had also solicited naked pictures from.

After having been convicted of the criminal sexual abuse of a of a 14-year-old girl in 2013, he is required to register with police as a sex offender. The pending charge of violating the sex offender rules concerns not registering all online identities he uses with police.

Ringel told Geisler the fact new charges could be filed “does not mean that there will be” any. He said Cook was not a flight risk, has family support and would live with his 80-year-old grandmother, whom he looks after.

Geisler said he decided on the bond reductions after examining the charges in the case. He reduced bond from $100,000 to $75,000 on the two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and from $50,000 to $30,000 on the sex offender registration violation. Cook will have to post 10 percent of each amount — a total of $10,500 — to be freed.

Geisler also set bond conditions that include banning Cook from any contact with anyone younger than 18.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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