We recently broke a story about Alan Fox, a foster parent in Livingston County who pled guilty last Wednesday in Livingston County Court to sexually abusing his 5-year-old foster child, and is now awaiting sentencing to an agreed upon term of one and a half years in state prison. This story has been troubling to me from when we first broke it over a year ago, and continues to disturb, perhaps even more, following recent events in court.
During his court hearing, details about Fox’s molestation of the child finally came to light, as Fox admitted to the crime. According to officials, Fox took his foster daughter outside to look at the stars, an experience where a 5-year old should be free and filled with curiosity about the universe. She was, sadly, walking into a sick trap. A starry night sky should be symbolic of an endless world with endless possibilities. Instead, she left those stars on that hill scarred, certainly emotionally, possibly for life, by a sick creep.
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Fox and his lawyer have been postponing the final day in court for over a year. His case was first unsealed in Judge Dennis Cohen’s courtroom back in November of 2013. Pastor Fox walked out of court that day released on his own recognizance. An order of protection was issued on behalf of the little girl to keep this predator away. He walked out of court with his wife, and was able to return to his home. As Fox sat in his home, enjoying its comforts and celebrating the holidays last year, this little girl was undoubtedly struggling to cope with the trauma of being molested. Fox, who at some point was a pastor, celebrated the birth of Christ with his family at home. The little girl was likely shuffled to another foster home, at the age of five trying to make sense of this vicious world. For over a year, Fox was a free man pending criminal sexual molestation charges. No bail was set – just free. He was free to roam out-of-state, free to be around other children.
We admit to feeling baffled by the veneer of justice in this case. Even after admitting his guilt to the court this week, Pastor Fox walked out into the daylight. Actually, he tried to sneak out the back door of the court to avoid the media. Sometimes, on admission of guilt, a judge will remand a person on the spot and send them off to jail. The Livingston County District Attorney’s Office did not request remand or even a bail amount to be set and Judge Cohen let the Fox out. He was free to spend Thanksgiving last week with his family, and he will be free to spend Christmas out of jail as well.
And so while Fox is enjoying his food and drink, his holiday cheer, this innocent little child has the fight of her life in front of her. Experts face the daunting challenge of helping this child begin to heal, teaching this little girl how to cope with the trauma and not let it ruin her life. Regardless of what the experts do or say, in the future when she looks up to the night sky, instead of seeing galaxies and endless time she will most likely see a sky clouded over by the shadow of a dirty Fox.
PHOTO CAPTION: Alan Fox. Photo by Josh Williams.