William Fox, a retired New York City police officer accused of sexually molesting three young boys, could spend the rest of his life in jail following a plea deal that resulted from an investigation launched with the help of Frank Spinelli, a gay Manhattan doctor.
The Staten Island Advance reports on the plea from Fox, a former Staten Island resident now living in Pennsylvania, where his trial began this week on sex charges involving the three youths from 1996 to 2009. The boys, now adults, are among at least 10 children that Fox adopted in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida over the past few decades.
The Advance reports that on Tuesday, the second day of his trial in Tioga County Court, "Fox, 66, pleaded 'no contest' to nine charges, including incest, corruption of minors, involuntary deviate [sic] sexual intercourse and indecent assault relating to three victims who lived with him, according to the Pennsylvania attorney general's office."
Fox could receive up to 69 years in prison and a fine as high as $125,000 when he is sentenced in the fall. Authorities will first evaluate him to assess whether he is a sexually violent predator.
Identified in police records as William Patrick Fox Sr., the retired NYPD officer won acclaim in 1981 for talking a teenager out of committing suicide and later becoming the legal guardian of the young man. He was named a National Father of the Year in 1982 and wrote a book about the experience.
Police arrested Fox at his home in Liberty, Pa., this past March after a two-year investigation launched at the urging of Frank Spinelli, a Manhattan internist with a practice focused on HIV-positive and gay men. Spinelli says Fox sexually abused him between 1978 and 1980 while leading a Boy Scout troop on Staten Island. Spinelli, an Advocate health contributor, tipped authorities about Fox two years ago and made wiretapped calls leading to his arrest.