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Decatur man pleads not guilty to sex charges involving 16-year-old girl

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DECATUR — Skylar L. Cook, 23, pleaded not guilty in Macon County Circuit Court on Wednesday to two charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of violating sex offender registration requirements in a case involving a 16-year-year-old girl.

Cook, represented by defense attorney Todd Ringel, told Judge James Coryell that he wanted to waive arraignment proceedings. The case was set for a pretrial hearing May 3.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police officer Erik Ethell said Cook was arrested March 30 following an investigation that showed Cook had sexual relations with the girl, a person he had first contacted on Facebook. Police said Cook also had the girl send him naked pictures for which he had offered to pay her between $500 and $1,000 a photo.

Ethell said Cook has been required to register as a sex offender since being convicted of the criminal sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl in 2013. Part of his requirements are that he register with police any online identities he uses, but prosecutors said he communicated with the 16-year-old girl using an undisclosed name.

Cook remained in the Macon County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of posting $150,000 bond.


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