POSTED: Monday, August 12, 2013 - 8:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 12, 2013 - 8:34pm
BELLE CHASSE, LA (NBC33) — A 50-year-old man from Belle Chase was arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of four victims. Officials say the individuals were between the ages of toddlers to pre-teens when the abuse occurred.
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that one victim filed a complaint on Thursday, July 25. The victim told deputies that the abuse occurred between 1997 and 2005.
The victim claims that the suspect, William J. Cox, used intimidation to prevent the report of the abuse. The victim also claimed that there were other victims.
On Friday, July 26, detectives interviewed several witnesses who confirmed the allegations. They also obtained the names of other potential victims.
Later that same day, detectives interviewed a second victim who related that Cox sexually abused the victim between 1994 and 1995. The abuse occurred in Buras, as well as in two other parishes. During the interview, the victim confirmed that another victim had been molested by Cox. Subsequently, detectives met with the third victim, who stated that Cox sexually abused the victim between 1991 and 1992 while in a neighboring parish.
On Wednesday, July 31, detectives met with a fourth victim. This victim related that Cox sexually abused the victim for approximately five years, from 1986 to 1990, and the abuse initiated in another state. The abuse continued to occur when the victim moved to south Louisiana and in Buras. During the interview, the victim provided detectives with additional victim information.
On Thursday, August 1, detectives traveled to central Louisiana to interview the fifth victim, who confirmed that Cox had sexually abused the victim. The abuse began in 1988 when the victim lived out of state and continued for about 3 to 4 years when the victim moved to south Louisiana and later to the Buras area.
As a result of the interviews, detectives authored and obtained an arrest warrant on Cox for the crimes that occurred in Plaquemines Parish, as well as a search warrant for his residence.
On Friday, August 2, detectives arrested Cox at his residence. Detectives searched Cox’s residence and collected evidence, which included a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.
During questioning, Cox denied the allegations.
Cox was booked at the Belle Chasse Lockup on numerous child sexual abuse charges, in addition to possession of an unregistered firearm. Cox is currently in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office in lieu of an $810,000 bond.
Detectives continue to work with other law enforcement agencies and have provided them with the details of the crimes that were committed in their jurisdictions for possible charges.
This investigation is ongoing and the Sheriff’s Office believes there may be additional victims that have not come forward and reported incidents. If you are a victim, witness, or have information that could aid our investigation, you are asked to call Detective Aaron Verrette at (504) 297-5277 or Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111.
According to the U.S. Justice Department’s 2006-2010 National Crime Victimization Survey, 54% of sexual assaults don’t get reported to the police. While there is no way to change what happened, victims can seek justice and help stop it from happening to someone else. Every time we lock up a sexual predator, we are preventing them from committing another attack. It’s the most effective way that exists to prevent future sexual abuse.