A member of the Platte City Board of Aldermen pleaded guilty to third degree sexual misconduct on August 8, the day his trial was scheduled to begin. Charles Cook, 59, admitted that he asked a woman to engage in sexual conduct as he drove her home from work.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “This defendant was a leader in his community, but his actions on August 19, 2010 were both highly inappropriate and illegal. He has now admitted what he did and that it was wrong.”

Cook was sentenced to six months court-supervised probation and ordered to have no contact with the victim. Prior to his guilty plea, Cook underwent an evaluation by a mental health professional, who determined Cook had no ongoing sexual issues and treatment was not necessary.

Cook told police he drove a woman home from her work at a Platte City grocery store at about 9:40 p.m. on August 19, 2010.

The woman reported the incident to police within two hours of the offense.

Cook was originally charged with second degree sexual misconduct, a class B misdemeanor. Sexual misconduct in the third degree is a class C misdemeanor. Neither charge would have required Cook to register as a sex offender.

Cook has remained an alderman for Ward I of Platte City. His attorney advised the court that Cook would be retiring from his employment with a natural gas service company in October.

The case was investigated by the Platte City Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Chris Seufert.

Information from the Platte County Prosecuting Attorney