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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Arizona

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cottonwood Woman Sentenced to Over 21 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Related Charges

     PHOENIX – Yesterday, Sarah Melissa Cox, 41, of Cottonwood, Ariz., was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver to 262 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by lifetime supervised release.  Cox had been convicted of three counts of receipt of child pornography, one count of noticing or advertising child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography at a jury trial in May.

     Evidence at trial showed that Cox engaged in a conversation with Richard Hennis of Colorado from August 2015 until January 2016, using the Kik social media application.  Cox and Hennis described in detail kidnapping, molesting, and assaulting children.  Hennis sent numerous images of child pornography to Cox, including three images of an infant being sexually assaulted that Hennis had conspired to produce with a different woman.  Cox provided Hennis with a link to additional child pornography.

     “Cox not only viewed, described, and exchanged pictures and videos of horrendous acts against infants and young children, she also suggested kidnapping and sexually assaulting other children,” said First Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange.  “Cox’s conduct is shocking and deserving of the lengthy prison sentence.”

     “The lengthy sentence handed down in this case is instrumental in pursuing justice for the victims of this child predator’s heinous crimes,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix. “HSI will continue to aggressively pursue those who seek to abuse our most vulnerable population and continue our partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s office to ensure sexual predators are apprehended and prosecuted.”

     The investigation in this case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Brooks and Christina Covault, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


CASE NUMBER:           CR-16-08202-PCT-ROS

RELEASE NUMBER:    2018-134_Cox


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Cyber Crime
Press Release Number: 
2018-134_Cox / CR-16-08202-PCT-ROS
Updated October 23, 2018