A Florida man has been charged with 1,200 counts of sexual assault and incest involving a minor.

Robert Cota, 31, of Pensacola, was charged with 600 counts of sexual assault on a victim between the ages of 12 and 18 and 600 counts of incest that allegedly took place over the last six years.

Cota was reported to police by a local pastor, who told deputies that Cota had approached him last Sunday saying he “had issues with one of the beliefs” outlined in the church guideline book. He specifically pointed to the word “incest,” according to arresting documents obtained by WEAR-TV.

After further conversation, the pastor told Cota that he needed to report himself to authorities. The pastor later provided Cota’s information to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the arrest report, the victim told authorities that she had sexual encounters with Cota since she was 7 years old. The girl said Cota told her that the sexual acts were how to show affection.

In September 2020, the victim’s mother confronted Cota about having a sexual relationship with the girl, according to the arrest report. In response, Cota pointed a gun at the girl and was arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence while authorities began investigating the sexual assault and incest allegations.

Both Cota and the victim reportedly told the mother of the sexual relationship before taking back their statements after the incident, police said.

When deputies arrived to arrest Cota for sexual assault and incest, he reportedly told them he was not surprised about the accusations.

He was booked at the Escambia County Jail, where his bond has been set at $3,000,000.

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By James Carter

A Senior writer & Editor, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following news developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world. He writes for almost all sections of Editorials 24.