Florida man facing 1,200 charges related to sexual abuse of a minor

A 31-year-old man is facing hundreds of charges for some truly disturbing crimes that police say he’s been committing since at least 2015.

According to the Washington Examiner, Robert Cota, of Pensacola, Florida, is facing 600 counts of sexual assault involving a minor as well as 600 counts of incest.

The charges all stem from the alleged abuse of a single girl. She was just 7 years old when the crimes began, according to the local WEAR-TV.

A pattern of abuse

According to the Examiner, Cota’s victim told police that he told her the abuse was “a sign of affection.” She also provided to police a timeline of the crimes, which she said began six years ago.

Cota had been arrested at least once before. According to WEAR, while he was being arrested on separate charges last September, the victim’s mother told police that she had “recently learned of Cota and the victim having a sexual relationship.”

Cota and the victim were each said to have corroborated that allegation to the victim’s mother, before walking it back upon further investigation by the authorities.

WEAR added:

According to the report, during that incident on Sept. 5, 2020, Cota allegedly became angry and pointed a gun at the victim multiple times. Cota was arrested for aggravated assault domestic violence as authorities began investigating the sexual assault and incest allegations.

It is unclear if Cota ended up serving any time behind bars for that incident.

Throw the book at him

Reports claim Cota once told a pastor he “had issues with one of the [church’s] beliefs,” particularly with regard to incest. According to the Examiner, “The pastor responded by telling Cota that he needed to turn himself in.” The New York Post added in its own report:

The pastor later provided Cota’s information to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

When Cota was taken into custody this week, he told the police that he was not surprised about the arrest, according to WEAR.

The 31-year-old was booked into Escambia Country Jail on Sunday night. He is currently being held on a $3 million bond, the Examiner reports.

The date of his first court appearance has not been announced.

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