Local Woman Says Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington Is Ignoring Child Rape Allegations While Victims Live in Fear for their Lives

 

Michael Cope
Michael Cope II was sentenced to prison for possessing a handgun while being a serious violent felon

Michael Cope II is currently serving prison time at the Westville Correctional Facility with an estimated release date of May, 2020.   The Journal and Courier had previously reported that Michael Cope “drove from Rensselaer to Lafayette, allegedly intending to abduct a 15-year-old girl from her mother’s home on Elk Street according to a probable cause affidavit.”

 

Last May Cope was charged with possession of a firearm by a serious violent offender, two counts of carrying a handgun without a license and one count of theft.  Cope is scheduled to be released in May of 2020, a frightening scenario for some his alleged victims, which include several children and their mother who are in fear for their lives if that should happen.

The children, ranging in ages from four to fifteen, allege that Cope committed an array of sexual offenses against them over a period of several years.  They were allegedly threatened with death if they told anyone and only felt safe to speak up after Michael Cope was locked up.

The mother of the children says that Cope has yet to be charged with alleged crimes of rape, sodomy, and molestation of several of her children, including the 15-year-old girl that he was allegedly intending to abduct prior to his arrest.

“I have left several messages with Echo Harrington, [a victim advocate at the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s office], in the past several months, and have been meet with extreme rudeness,” stated the victim and mother of the alleged sex victims.  “If he [Cope] gets out he’s going to kill us,” stated the mom.  “I don’t think anyone understands that reality.”

The victim claims that Echo Harrington has told her repeatedly that she will pass messages on to the prosecutor; however, she has yet to hear back from anyone.  “She was incredibly rude and acted like I was an annoyance to her the last time I called to inquire about the case,” commented the mother of the children.  “Those messages aren’t going to save me and my children,” she sobbed.

“Echo told me that they have five years to file charges, but he is scheduled to be released from prison long before that, so that doesn’t do me or my children any good.”  Cope also has an appeal pending, and if successful he could be released prior to the anticipated prison date.

According to mom no one has spoken to her children beyond the Heartford House interview that occurred in July of 2017.  “Shouldn’t they be getting witness statements while it’s still fresh in our minds?” she asked.  “It’s been over six months and we have heard nothing.  That’s not acceptable.”

The mother stated that after Cope was in prison her fifteen-year-old daughter shared that he had been molesting her since she was seven years old.  The mother reported the allegations to the police and her daughter was interviewed by staff at the Heartford House with law enforcement present.  Several other siblings have since shared allegations of being raped, sodomized, and molested by Cope.

The victims continue to live in fear from the ordeal and hold a firm belief that Cope will make good on alleged threats to kill them.