Sheriff David Thoroughman stated that his office received a report on October 4, 2022 from a parent stating that her underage son had been sexually assaulted while out of town in Virginia.
A deputy met with the victim and his mother to gather information to initiate an investigation. The report was forwarded to detectives for investigation. The investigation revealed that there could be more victims involved with this case.
The detective worked jointly with the Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Scioto County Children’s Services throughout this investigation. During the investigation detectives were able to identify four (4) male victims, being under the age of 13, who reported being sexually assaulted in West Portsmouth, Ohio and in the state of Virginia.
Sheriff Thoroughman stated that detectives were able to interview several victims and witnesses. The information provided resulted in a search warrant for the residence located at 45 Elza Lane, West Portsmouth, Ohio. During the search, the crime scene was processed and several items were collected as evidence.
Two of the victims were taken to Adena Regional Medical Center for treatment. They were both treated and released. As a result of this ongoing investigation, several children have been removed by Children’s Services and placed in foster care.
Arrested was Gary W. Cook III, age 36, of 45 Elza Lane, West Portsmouth, Ohio. Cook has been charged with 3 counts of Rape of a child under the age of 13, a felony of the 1st degree, 1 count of Rape of a child under the age of 10, a felony of the 1st degree, and 3 counts of Child Endangerment, a felony of the 2nd degree. Cook is currently being held on a $550,000 bond and will appear in Portsmouth Municipal Court Thursday, October 6, 2022.
Sheriff Thoroughman would like to thank Adena Regional Medical Center, Ross County Child Protection Center, and Scioto County Children’s Services for their assistance.
Sheriff David Thoroughman stated this is still an ongoing investigation that could result in more charges being filed on a later date. Anyone with information regarding this case should contact Detective Sgt. Jodi Conkel @ 740-351-1091.