Child rapist ordered into custody upon conviction

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Jonathan Mitchell Cooper, 31, was convicted of three counts of rape of a child, three counts of incest and one count of aggravated sexual battery after sexually assaulting a nine-year-old victim, the District Attorney General said in a release.

Cooper was set for sentencing on April 13. Each count of rape of a child carries a punishment between 25 and 60 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Once Cooper was convicted, his bond was revoked, and he was ordered into custody.

During Cooper's trial, an Assistant District Attorney explained that beginning in 2013, Cooper began to molest a nine-year-old child at their West Knoxville home. The assaults happened about 12 times over the next two years until the victim told their mother about them.

"Parents are supposed to protect their children, not prey upon them," said District Attorney General Charme Allen. "Because of the hard work of investigators and prosecutors in this case, this child is now safe."

At sentencing next month, prosecutors said they would ask for an enhanced sentence to ensure this offender can never harm another child again.