Former American Idol contestant receives maximum sentence in child porn case

Former American Idol contestant receives maximum sentence in child porn case
Brandon Cox (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo from Cox's trial.)
Brandon Cox (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo from Cox's trial.)

ELMORE CO., AL (WSFA) - Former American Idol contestant Brandon Cox was sentenced Wednesday for seven possession of child pornography counts in Elmore County. Cox hasn't been a free man since late January when he was convicted.

Judge Sibley Reynolds handed down a sentence to keep Cox behind bars for 70 years.

"We asked for 10 years on each count," explained Assistant District Attorney Kristy Peoples. "We are happy the judge saw the evidence as it was."

During the trial, the State Bureau of Investigation took nearly 20 hours, showing technical and explicit testimony. The jury struggled to watch the horrific images and videos during each day of the trial, seeing approximately 275 files that were found on Cox's computer hard drive.

Cox stated multiple times during testimony he did not know what was on his computer because he had only used it to download music.

"We are talking about toddlers, sexual penetration, oral sex, and the horrific nature of these photos and the quantity of the photos," Peoples explained. "I think that is why the judge did impose the sentence we asked for."

Cox, who spoke to the judge before he was sentenced, was still clinging to the innocence that he's maintained throughout the whole ordeal.

"His plea today was that he didn't have records to prove certain things like access dates, and when he downloaded certain files -- but that wasn't required by the state," Peoples explained. "What was required was that he possessed, and we had overwhelming evidence that he possessed child pornography images and videos."

Peoples said the state's key concern was protecting the man's 4-year-old son and believed the sentence will meet that need.

"It was a huge concern," Peoples explained. "Most of the children in these images and videos were male toddlers and younger male children."

Cox didn't know the children in the images, all of which were downloaded from online.  He must now register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

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