Local child molester sentenced to 50-years-to-life

A Susanville child molester will spend most, if not all, of the rest of his life in state prison.

Robert Anthony Cox.

Robert Anthony Cox pleaded not guilty to nine charges Feb. 21, 2023, and a Lassen County Superior Court jury convicted him of two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14 July, 20, 2023. The jury found him not guilty of six counts of committing a lewd act upon a child and the jury was hung a charge of annoying/molesting a child under the age of 18.

Visiting judge James Voysey sentenced Cox to two consecutive 25-years-to-life terms Thursday, Feb. 8 — the recommendation of both the district attorney’s office and the Lassen County Probation Department — “in order to reflect the pain and trauma inflicted to each child,” according to a Facebook post by the DA.

According to a Facebook post by the DA, ” … when a jury finds that the (continuous sexual abuse of a child) offenses were committed against more than one child, as they did here, it enhances the sentence to 25-life for each child.”

Lassen County District Attorney Susan Rios said she asked the jury to find Cox guilty of the continuous sexual abuse charges because they carry a longer sentence. She also said a defendant cannot be convicted of continuous sexual abuse and lewd acts for the same offense.

One of the victim’s mothers said Cox was not fit for society because he had robbed the children of their innocence for his own pleasure.

“You’re a monster who doesn’t deserve to be free,” she said.

Another parent said he had nothing to say about such a monster — “Put him away forever.”

Rios called the case “a house of horrors” in which Cox preyed upon small children who lived in a multi-family home where Cox molested them. She said the two children suffer issues in their lives to this day, She also praised the courage of the two girls during the trial.

Arguing for the total 50-years-to-life sentence, Rios said, “The defendant earned every day of this plus more. This is the most appropriate sentence under the law.”

Defense attorney Timothy Prentice argued for concurrent sentencing because the acts were not forced.

He also said Cox had asked him to file a motion for a new trial, but he would not do so because he did not believe the allegations Cox had made to justify a new trial. He said while his client disagrees, he found “no evidence (and) no merit” to Cox’s allegations.

Prentice expects there will be an appeal of the case.

Voysey called the case “a very serious situation” that warranted the lengthy sentence.

He gave Cox credit for 846 days for time served, ordered him to pay a variety of court fines, ordered him to pay $50,000 in non-economic damages to each child, ordered him to register as a sex offender if he is ever paroled and issued a protective order that he have no contact with his victims again.