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Ex-teacher sentenced to prison on child porn charges
The Yuma High School teacher and athletic trainer who was found in possession of pornographic images and videos of children on his computer has been sentenced to five years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervision.
Michael Aaron Cox, 37, was also given credit for the 112 days he served prior to sentencing. Originally arrested on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, Cox withdrew his not guilty plea to the charges and pled guilty to two counts of attempted exploitation of a minor in an Oct. 25 plea agreement.
Cox, who according to court records admitted being attracted to children, was sentenced in Yuma County Superior Court on Nov. 27 before Superior Court Judge Maria Elena Cruz.
According to court records, the videos and pictures Cox was found in possession of depicted children ranging in age from toddlers to age 15. He also, according to court records, told police that he had been involved in searching for child pornography through the Internet for many years.
Court records indicated that Cox admitted to Yuma police during questioning that he was in possession of videos and pictures of young children being sexually abused and that he had been involved in trading the images via the Internet.
Cox was arrested by members of the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (AZ ICAC) in August after a month-long Internet investigation. He was found in possession of pornographic images of children on his computer after a search warrant was served at his home.
YPD detectives assisted AZ ICAC with the execution of the warrant at Cox's home in the 2900 block of South Palo Verde Lane and seized several electronic media devices.
Court records indicated the alleged images and videos were found on his computer hard drives and external storage devices.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter at @YSJamesGilbert.