A Conroe, Texas youth sports coach was sentenced last week in a case where he was accused of sexually abusing a child for two years and where a second alleged victim also testified during trial.
42-year-old Derek Devone Cobbs was convicted by a Montgomery County jury on November 17 for the first-degree felony offense of continuous abuse of a child in presiding Patty Maginnis’ 435th District Court. Jurors sentenced Cobbs to life the following day, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Due to the nature of the offense, Cobbs is not eligible for parole, according to the DA’s Office.
“Derek Cobbs had a dark perversion that he inflicted on innocent children. He pretended to be a good man for years, wearing a mask that he showed the outside world,” said prosecuting Assistant DA Wesley LeRouax in a statement. “Our jury saw through the charade. Because of the bravery of the victim in this case, Cobbs can never harm another child.”
During trial, the DA’s Office noted, a woman testified to being a victim of Cobbs in 2003 when she was a child in the ninth grade.
“Both victims testified powerfully to the devastating impact Cobbs’ abuse had on them. They also spoke of the importance of confronting Cobbs and demanding accountability for his actions,” read a statement from the DA’s Office.
Charging documents show Cobb was sexually abusing a child younger than 14 between June 2017 and June 2019. The female child victim was being filmed by Cobbs as he performed a sexual act when her parent walked in. The parent reported the incident to the Department of Family Protective Services, according to a probable cause affidavit filed June 28, 2019 by the Conroe Police Department.
After speaking with the parent about the incident, an investigator with DFPS on June 14, 2019 contacted a Conroe PD detective who took over the case. A few days later, the child spoke to a forensic interviewer at the Children’s Safe Harbor Advocacy Center. Cobbs performed sexual acts on the child for the prior two years, the young victim said in the interview, according to the affidavit.
Following a search warrant on Cobb’s phone, the detective found a photo showing body parts the victim’s parent identified as belonging to their child. The detective also found a point-of-view photo showing Cobb’s genitalia and the child’s body parts, the charging documents detail.
The child, now in her teens, testified in court about the abuse, the DA’s Office mentioned.
The woman who testified in trial about Cobbs’ abuse of her as a child spoke about foot fetish behavior he subjected her to, conduct similar to what he was convicted of in this case, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“This seems like the story of a bad man doing bad things, and it is. But this is also the story of two women, one still a young girl and the other now an adult,” District Attorney Brett Ligon said in a statement. “These two women exhibited tremendous courage and strength. We hope that they will have peace and love in their lives going forward and never think of this man again. We certainly won’t.”
Among several others who took the witness stand, was Cobbs’ brother. The defendant, his brother said, was a local youth football coach, according to the District Atorney’s Office. Cobbs worked as a truck driver, the DA’s Office added.
Cobbs plans to appeal the verdict, his attorney, Lindsay Lopez said via text on Monday.
“Unfortunately, while this jury verdict may bring some peace to the victim’s family, it begins the grieving for my client’s family, who now loses their son,” Lopez said, mentioning Cobbs’ mother and father.