Convicted molester asks for early release from jail

Suspended priest received a 15-month sentence

October 15, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A suspended Carroll County priest who is serving 15 months in jail for molesting two boys has petitioned the court to be released or at least serve the last six months of his sentence in home detention.

Brian M. Cox, who was sentenced in January for molesting the boys during the early 1980s while he was an associate pastor of a Westminster parish, has been a "model prisoner" and has led a prayer group at the Carroll County Detention Center, according to a written motion filed by his attorney.

"Serving additional months in jail will achieve nothing positive for the defendant or society," the lawyer, Andrew J. Graham, wrote. "On the other hand, if the defendant is now released from jail on probation, or in home detention, he will be able to devote his skills, efforts and energies to useful purposes."

In a written response to the motion, prosecutors said, "The Court should temper the Defendant's argument that he is prevented from helping people while incarcerated with the fact that he admitted to using his collar to attract these children."

Cox, 64, who was associate pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Westminster 20 years ago, pleaded guilty in October last year to two counts of child abuse.

In January, Carroll County Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway imposed consecutive four-year sentences for each of the convictions but suspended all but 15 months. The judge also said at sentencing that Cox could apply to have his sentence reduced to home detention after serving half of that time.

Upon release, Cox is to be placed on five years' probation, with requirements to continue therapy and medication programs, register as a sex offender, have no unsupervised contact with minors and perform 1,000 hours of community service.

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