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Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 09/06/2011

Prosecutor: Band director thought he was soliciting student

A band director with Fairfax County schools charged with soliciting a child online was corresponding with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old boy from his school, prosecutors said at a bond hearing Tuesday.

A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge set Michael K. Cook’s bond at $10,000. Cook, 43, of Centreville, was arrested on Aug. 31 following an online police sting. Cook was placed on administrative leave from Fairfax’s Robinson Secondary School, where he was in charge of the symphonic and marching bands.

Fairfax County prosecutor Kathy Stott said in court that Cook was “willing and eager” to meet the officer posing as a student, and that Cook wrote that he wanted to perform oral sex on the boy. Stott argued Cook should remain held without bond.

Patrick Woolley, an attorney for Scott, said his client was initially unaware of the purported victim’s age and broke off contact once he did learn it. He also said that police had not found any child pornography at Cook’s home and Cook was a “decorated member” of Robinson’s faculty.

“Mr. Cook is not a sick individual. He is not a pedophile. He does not have multiple victims,” Woolley said.

A man, who prosecutors believe was Cook, e-mailed the undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old on July 21 and asked the officer to send a picture to verify his age, according to an affidavit in a search warrant filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Cook allegedly asked to perform a sex act on the boy in a follow-up e-mail and sent the officer a picture of himself, according to the affidavit.

In a subsequent instant message exchange, Cook allegedly discussed meeting the purported victim at a specific time and location in Fairfax County, the search warrant said. On Tuesday, Stott said Cook requested a meeting at a store, so he could see the boy before they went off together.

Woolley said Cook has never before had a significant offense and said he was recently elected president of the Virginia Band & Orchestra Director’s Association. Woolley said Cook had been a teacher at Robinson for 12 years. Cook also led student tours to western Europe and plays tuba in the Fairfax Wind Symphony, according to a biography.

Cook cannot have contact with anyone under 18, use the Internet or meet with anyone from Robinson Secondary School as terms of his bond.

By  |  02:30 PM ET, 09/06/2011

Categories:  Fairfax

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