The oldest case pending in the Third Municipal District's domestic violence courtroom was resolved Friday afternoon when a Rosemont woman pleaded guilty after Cook County prosecutors reduced the felony charge against her to a misdemeanor.
Patricia Cooper, a onetime foster parent and adoption advocate, pleaded guilty to attempted obstruction of justice, a class A misdemeanor, in a case involving her son and a girl under Cooper's care. Cooper was sentenced by Judge Joel Greenblatt to one year probation.
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Cooper, 71, appeared frail but spoke clearly, admitting that she attempted to induce a witness to provide false information to police and the Department of Children and Family Services regarding crimes committed by her son, Christopher Cooper, 30. Last year, a Rolling Meadows jury convicted Christopher Cooper of sexually assaulting a now 22-year-old woman over seven or eight years beginning when she was about 6 years old. Greenblatt subsequently sentenced Christopher Cooper to a total of 32 years in prison.
The attempted obstruction took place between July 1, and Aug. 21, 2008, during an investigation by Rosemont police and DCFS into the victim's allegations, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Mike Gerber said.
Gerber cited Patricia Cooper's "advancing years and diminishing health" as well as her lack of criminal background and previous good works in the community as the basis for the reduced charge.
"The person who perpetrated this crime is now serving 32 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections," said Gerber following Friday's hearing.
The victim, who lives in another state, approved of the sentence for Patricia Cooper, Gerber said, adding "she is of the opinion that justice has been done."
Greenblatt concurred saying he believed "the sentence serves the best interest of justice at this time."
However, Greenblatt had stern words for Cooper, who declined his invitation to make a statement during the hearing.
"It is clear to the court based on the spread of record that you abrogated your responsibility as a parent ... and as a result, many people suffered."