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Hampstead man sentenced 30 years for rape and sex abuse of a child decades ago

William R. Cox
(Carroll County Sheriff's Office)

A Hampstead man was sentenced to 30 years after he was convicted of sexually abusing and raping a child over seven years in the 1970s and ’80s.

In Carroll County Circuit Court on Jan. 15, Judge Fred Hecker sentenced William Rodney Cox, 55, to 40 years with all but 30 years suspended. After release, he will serve five years of supervised probation.

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On Oct. 8, Cox pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual offense and one count of second-degree rape.

According to the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office, the victim contacted the office to say, “I went from victim to survivor and now I will march on, letting others know it’s never too late to fight.”

State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo thanked the investigators and the prosecutor for working to secure a conviction and a sentence. According to a news release from his office, the prosecutor from the State’s Attorney’s Office’s Special Victims Unit recommended a 50-year sentence with all but 30 suspended.

“We also thank the victim who bravely came forward to ensure that justice delayed was not justice denied," he said in the release.

Attorneys from the Carroll County Public Defender’s Office represented Cox. A call to the office was not immediately returned Thursday.

Cox was arrested in August 2018 after an investigation by the Carroll County Advocacy and Investigation Center (CCAIC) that found he had sexually abused a 7-year-old child beginning in 1979 and continuing through 1986.

The victim reported the abuse as an adult, and the CCAIC, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Westminster Police Department conducted a lengthy investigation that resulted in arresting Cox in 2018.

The Times does not identify victims of sexual crimes.

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