Sheriff David Thoroughman stated that his office received a report on October 4, 2022 from a
parent stating that her underage son had been sexually assaulted while out of town in Virginia.
A deputy met with the victim and his mother to gather information to initiate an investigation.
The report was forwarded to detectives for investigation. The investigation revealed that there
could be more victims involved with this case.
The detective worked jointly with the Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Scioto
County Children’s Services throughout this investigation. During the investigation detectives
were able to identify four (4) male victims, being under the age of 13, who reported being
sexually assaulted in West Portsmouth, Ohio and in the state of Virginia.
Sheriff Thoroughman stated that detectives were able to interview several victims and
witnesses. The information provided resulted in a search warrant for the residence located at
45 Elza Lane, West Portsmouth, Ohio. During the search, the crime scene was processed and
several items were collected as evidence.
Two of the victims were taken to Adena Regional Medical Center for treatment. They were both
treated and released. As a result of this ongoing investigation, several children have been
removed by Children’s Services and placed in foster care.
Arrested was Gary W. Cook III, age 36, of 45 Elza Lane, West Portsmouth, Ohio. Cook has been
charged with 3 counts of Rape of a child under the age of 13, a felony of the 1 st degree, 1 count
of Rape of a child under the age of 10, a felony of the 1 st degree, and 3 counts of Child
Endangerment, a felony of the 2 nd degree. Cook is currently being held on a $550,000 bond and
will appear in Portsmouth Municipal Court Thursday, October 6, 2022.
Sheriff Thoroughman would like to thank Adena Regional Medical Center, Ross County Child
Protection Center, and Scioto County Children’s Services for their assistance.
Sheriff David Thoroughman stated this is still an ongoing investigation that could result in more
charges being filed on a later date. Anyone with information regarding this case should contact
Detective Sgt. Jodi Conkel @ 740-351-1091.