Fr. Brian Cox – Archdiocese of Baltimore

On Behalf of | May 11, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church, Firm News

Fr. Brian Cox

Archdiocese of Baltimore

Brian Cox Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1968

Laicized: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1968-1973: St. Pius V Church (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1970-1973: Resurrection House (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1975-1978: Archbishop Keough High School (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1978-1989: St. John Church (Westminster, MD)
  • 1989-1995: Resided at Resurrection Farm; assisted at St. John and St. Peter (Libertytown, MD)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Brian Cox 

Fr. Brian Cox was ordained a Catholic priest in 1968 and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2002, Fr. Cox was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Fr. Cox.

According to the AG’s report, in 1994, Cox admitted to a parish secretary that he had briefly touched the genitals of a 13-year-old while wrestling with him under a blanket in 1981. The secretary eventually told a third person, who passed the information to the archdiocese in 1995, a year after it first came to light. The archdiocese then reported the allegations to the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office.

When the archdiocese confronted Cox with the report of abuse, he admitted to it, as well as to making a “sexual suggestion” to a second victim, an unknown child, and engaging in “improper sexual talk” with a third victim, a 16-year-old boy. These three incidents occurred between 1979 and 1985. The third victim told prosecutors that, rather than the mere “talk” that Cox admitted to, in fact, Cox orally raped and fondled him in the St. John rectory on multiple occasions.

Cox was placed on administrative leave and sent to receive inpatient psychiatric treatment in St. Louis. During that treatment, he admitted to having sexual encounters with “youths” three times between 1979 and 1981, two of which occurred in the rectory, and to have a general sexual attraction to 15-to-18-year-old boys. He also acknowledged having numerous sexual encounters with adult men.

After ten months of treatment, Cox wanted to return to Maryland to live and work at Resurrection Farm. The archdiocese told Cox he should stay in treatment and that he could no longer hold himself out as a priest, yet the archdiocese continued to give Cox a $1,000 monthly stipend, health insurance, and access to a pension.

In 1998, a fourth victim heard about the other victims and told his wife and mother about his abuse by Cox. In 2002, that victim learned that Cox was never prosecuted for the prior abuse and decided to report the abuse to both the archdiocese and law enforcement. He stated that for about six months in 1980, Cox took him swimming and fondled him in the locker room. At the time of the abuse, the victim was a fifth grader and an altar boy.

Cox was indicted in 2002 for twelve counts of sexual abuse involving the third and fourth victims. In a recorded conversation with one of the victims, he claimed that he went to the archdiocese for help in 1984 but was rebuffed. Cox pled guilty to one count of sexual abuse of each victim and served nine months in prison, starting in January 2003. His stipend and insurance were suspended when he went to jail. After his conviction, he was asked to resign, and refused. The archdiocese petitioned to laicize him involuntarily, and the Vatican made it official in 2003.

In 2017, a fifth victim came forward and was interviewed by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019. He said he was abused in 1987 and 1988 when he was 10 or 11 years old. He said that Cox fondled him while changing clothes and told him, “It’s OK. This is normal,” and called it “our special relationship.” He said that the abuse happened multiple times over the next year and included oral rape and fondling.

In addition to the victims of child sexual abuse, after the publicity in 1995, others reported experiencing inappropriate sexual conduct by Cox. A 20-year-old said he felt that Cox was trying to walk in on him while changing before swimming, and the mother of a 12-year-old said that he had talked inappropriately to her son about wet dreams in the shower but did not touch him. Another man said that in 1997, Cox confessed to him an attraction to young men.

In 2019, Cox was interviewed twice by the AG’s office. Cox admitted that he was sexually abused in a confessional when he was 16 and later became sexually compulsive with gay adult men. In the interviews, he admitted to carrying out multiple instances of abuse, including fondling various young boys and orally raping one.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maryland, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.