Jury convicts Westwood man on sexual abuse charges

Robert Anthony Cox, Jr. Photo submitted

According to a statement from the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, Robert Anthony Cox, Jr., 35, of Westwood, was convicted by a jury this week of continuous sexual abuse, in violation of Penal Code section 288.5, of two children, both under the age of 14.

Cox committed these crimes nearly five years ago when the minors were then just ages 7 and 9, but were not reported to law enforcement until January 2022, as is very common in these types of cases. The prosecution’s case consisted of eight witnesses, including the minor children, over two days of testimony. The jury reached its decision Thursday morning.

The jury also made a special finding with respect to the victims subjecting Cox to California’s “one strike” rule as it pertains to certain enumerated child sex crimes committed against two or more victims under the age of 14. He will now face a life sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 3.

“We thank the jurors for their time and attention over the last 3 1/2 days,” the statement read. “Special recognition goes to the minor children for coming forward not only to report, but to testify and participate in the prosecution. This was difficult for them and their families, and we wish them well and will continue to support them as they continue with the healing process.”

The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Susan Rios, with intensive victim services provided by Lassen County Victim Witness. The case was investigated by the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Silverton Police Department (Oregon) and the San Diego Sheriff’s Office.