Gering man sentenced to prison on sexual assault conviction

A former panhandle math teacher convicted of third degree sexual assault of a child has been sentenced to 24 to 60 months in prison by Scotts Bluff County District Court Judge Leo Dobrovolny.

38 year old Richard (Rico) Cobos was employed as a junior high math teacher when he was arrested in September of last year in Gothernberg for the alleged molestation in August of 2012 in Gering.

Judge Dobrovolny said an acquittal for Cobos in a Morrill County sexual assault case last week was not significant. Dobrovolny said while the act by Cobos was out of character and he might be a good candidate for probation, the seriousness of the crime and the fact it involved a person of trust eliminated probation as an option.

Deputy Scotts Bluff County Attorney Scott Blaha claimed Coobos had shown no regret or remorse and the crime would have a "lifetime impact" on the victim.

Cobos attorney Bell Island told the court Cobos, who would never be able to teach again, has nevertheless obtained other jobs and been a reliable employee. Island also stated it was one out of character act, and while serious, involved sexual contact, not sexual intercouse.

Cobos received credit for 31 days in jail and will be eligible for parole in 12 months.

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