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New Johnson County prosecutor sworn in as former one is sentenced in domestic violence case

Posted at 3:11 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 16:44:42-04

GREENFIELD—There's a new prosecutor in Johnson County.

Joe Villanueva was sworn in Wednesday, less than an hour after the man who held the office for ten years was sentenced in a domestic violence case. Villanueva was Acting Johnson County Prosecutor and Chief Deputy Prosecutor.

In a plea agreement, now former Prosecutor Bradley Cooper received 540 days of supervised probation, paid a $50 fine and resigned his office.

The sentencing took place in Hancock County since Cooper, who is 51, had a professional relationship with judges in Johnson County.

In March, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department was called to Cooper's home where they found a woman whose right eye was "swollen and bruised," according to a police report. The woman, who was involved in a personal relationship with Cooper, had fled to a neighbor's house to call 911.

In court Wednesday, Cooper faced his victim and apologized for his actions, saying he was "deeply sorry for the hurt he caused." "I take full responsibility for my actions," said Cooper.

Hancock Superior Court Judge Dan Marshall the admonished Cooper, saying public officials must be held to a higher standard. The judge said Cooper's actions "undermined the public trust."

In April, Cooper Cooper pleaded guilty three felonies: Criminal Confinement, Identity Deception and Official Misconduct. He also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of Domestic Violence.

Under state law, once an elected official is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony, they are removed from office.

Cooper joined the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office in 2004 and rose through the ranks from a deputy prosecutor to chief deputy prosecutor. In 2009, he was elected as county prosecutor.

His online biography touts his record of getting convictions in 4,000 felony cases in a 20-year period.

Cooper did not speak to reporters before of after his hearing at the Hancock County Courthouse.