Fort White man charged with sexual battery

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies arrested a Fort White man on Tuesday for sexual battery.

According to a CCSO press release, Edward Tillman Cook II, 37, was charged with sexual battery on a victim 12 years of age or older and with violation of probation.

Edward Tillman Cook II
Courtesy of CCSO Edward Tillman Cook II

On Oct. 6, Columbia County school resources deputies received a report that a student was the victim of sexual abuse. CCSO detectives, along with the Department of Children and Families, investigated the incident to ensure the child victim was safe from further harm.

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The investigation continued through Tuesday when Cook was interviewed by detectives and arrested.

Cook was previously investigated for crimes against minors and was convicted of interference with child custody for incidents in March of 2020. That case included allegations that Cook solicited at least two minors for photos, according to the release.

“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to making sure that every victim is heard, respected, and afforded the opportunity to seek justice in their case,” said Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter in the release. “Our school resource deputies and detectives worked in conjunction with our partners at the Department of Children and Families to immediately protect this child and seek justice on their behalf.”

CCSO continues to investigate the incident and additional charges are possible. CCSO requests assistance with this case if anyone knows of other potential victims of Cook to call (386) 719-2005.

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