VIDEO: Man Charged with 1,200 Counts of Sex Assault, Incest with Minor After Pastor Notifies Sheriff

Officials have charged a man in Florida with 1,200 counts of sexual assault and incest involving a minor, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Thirty-one-year-old Robert Cota, who is a Pensacola resident, was charged with 600 counts of sexual assault on a victim who is between ages 12 and 18 and also 600 counts of incest that allegedly occurred over the past six years.

He was reported to law enforcement by a local pastor who told authorities Cota approached him Sunday and said he “had issues with one of the beliefs” in the church’s guidelines.

The man particularly drew attention to the word “incest,” arresting documents said.

During their conversation, the pastor told Cota he should report himself to officials. The pastor eventually gave Cota’s information to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

The arrest report said the victim told officials she had sexual encounters with the man since she was seven-years-old, adding Cota told her “the sexual acts were how to show affection,” the Post article continued:

In September 2020, the victim’s mother confronted Cota about having a sexual relationship with the girl, according to the arrest report. In response, Cota pointed a gun at the girl and was arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence while authorities began investigating the sexual assault and incest allegations. Both Cota and the victim reportedly told the mother of the sexual relationship before taking back their statements after the incident, police said.

When deputies went to arrest the man for alleged sexual assault and incest, he reportedly said he was not surprised regarding the accusations against him.

The suspect was booked into the Escambia County Jail and his bond set at $3,000,000.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, child sexual abuse is considered a significant yet preventable adverse childhood experience and also a public health problem.

“Many children wait to report or never report child sexual abuse,” the agency said, adding that approximately one in four girls and one in 13 boys experience this type of abuse at some point during their childhood.

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