Originally Published: December 19, 2011 10:02 p.m.
PRESCOTT - Dean Maxwell Cook, who faced a possible 336-year prison sentence for downloading child porn, took a plea deal Monday and was sentenced instead to 10 years in prison plus two consecutive terms of lifetime sex offender probation.
Prescott police arrested Cook, 51, on multiple charges of sexual exploitation of a minor on Feb. 11 after a person reported seeing pornographic images involving children on the man's desk at work, according to Lt. Tim Fletcher, Prescott Police Department spokesman.
The person told police that on Feb. 4, a sheet of paper with about six wallet-sized pictures of naked children between 4 and 6 years of age were found on Cook's desk; then on Feb. 10, two sheets of paper with pictures of naked children and a naked adult man were seen on Cook's desk, according to the police report.
"When detectives spoke with Cook, he admitted to downloading child pornography pictures that he believed, in fact, were of real children," Fletcher said. "He was booked on six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and additional charges were filed later."
Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Cele Hancock last month told Cook that, if he went to a jury trial and lost, he could face 336 years in prison.
Monday, he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. In return for his guilty plea, the state agreed to drop the remainder of the 14 counts on which he'd been indicted.
Cook's attorney, Daniel DeRienzo, told Hancock he is "not a danger to others, and has a lot of good family and friend support."
"I have read mitigation letters written by various members of the community," Hancock said. "I know, Mr. Cook, you claim that somehow all these images were downloaded onto your computer without your knowledge. That, I don't know. What I do know is, you printed out several of the photos," which, she said, makes him dangerous.
She sentenced him to 10 years "flat time" on the first count, meaning he must serve every day of the 10 years before he can be released.
Hancock gave him two consecutive terms of lifetime sex offender probation, to follow the prison time, on the other two counts; "The reason," she said, "is that if you violate the terms of your probation, you will be sentenced to two consecutive terms (in prison)."
Cook also will be subject to GPS monitoring while on probation.