Man sentenced to life in prison for ten years of child sex offenses in Macon Co.

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This week in Macon County Superior Court, a man was sentenced to life in prison for child sex offenses dating back almost 40 years.

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said James Randal “Randy” Cope, 74, was convicted on October 12, 2021 of two first-degree sex offense charges against a child dating back to 1982, when the child was three years, and lasted about a decade.

Welch said Cope was arrested on March 31, 2021 at a Whittier residence on these pedophilia charges. She said she decided to press charges against Cope after his release from federal prison, where he had served 15 years on an unrelated case of Internet sexual solicitation of a minor.

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“By his actions he imposed a life sentence on the victim,” Welch said of Cope. “He’s not a man we wanted to return to the streets. He deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars and that guarantees it should happen.”

The case for which he was serving a 15-year sentence, in which he was indicted and subsequently convicted of soliciting a minor, hails from Cherokee County.

The 1982 case, which was reported by a family member during Cope’s time in federal prison, could not be prosecuted in state courts while he remained in federal custody. After the family member reported the abuse, Cope admitted he had abused the child.

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So Welch continued the pedophilia charges after Cope was released from federal custody in March.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Bill Coward consolidated the two sex offense charges into one judgment, sentencing Cope to life in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Moore continued the case. The State Investigation Bureau conducted the investigation.


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