Member of Northside church group facing charges of online solicitation: arrest report

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 43-year-old Jacksonville man, who was identified in a police report as a member of a church group, is facing charges of online solicitation of a child, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The report states that a complainant told investigators he’d been receiving lewd letters and texts from Timothy Cook, who goes to his church. The boy told police he deleted the text messages out of embarrassment. The report states when the boy went to police, officers questioned Cook and arrested him.

Additionally, the report shows Cook is facing a charge of unlawful use of a two-way communication device in the case. The arrest report states that Cook was aware the child was underage and states that Cook knew that soliciting nude images of a child was illegal.

The report states the suspect demonstrated the ability to reason and know right from wrong, but next door neighbors told News4JAX that Cook has special needs. His mother said her son has the mental capacity of a 12-year-old and has been living with his parents all his life.

According to the report, a JSO search revealed Cook was investigated by its Sex Crimes Unit in 2011 because he was accused of trying to hide a camera inside the boy’s restroom at the North Jacksonville Baptist Church. Investigators said he was interviewed by detectives and admitted to hiding the camera, but was not arrested as the cameras did not capture anything. News4JAX has requested that report.

In another report, Cook was under investigation in October 2021 by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office — and he’s facing additional charges in that case. The report states that investigators determined the incident occurred in Duval County and the case was transferred to JSO.

In the October 2021 case, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report states that Cook was arrested in an undercover online operation conducted by St. Johns County detectives, and the undercover persona was that of a 13-year-old boy. According to the report, Cook initiated a conversation with the undercover deputy, and law enforcement traced the number to a wireless phone that was registered to Cook.

As of Tuesday night, records show Cook was held in jail on a $600,000 bond.

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