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HSI Philadelphia partners with state police on investigation that leads to extensive prison sentence for child predator

LANCASTER, Pa. – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia recently partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police Department on an investigation that landed a Manheim man in prison for up to 158 years. Anthony Fox, 25, received a 79-158-year sentence on June 24 after pleading guilty to 22 sexual abuse charges involving victims younger than 10 years old.

The joint investigation revealed that Fox sexually abused four victims ranging in age from 6-10, and that he recorded the abuse on video and in photographs. Investigators discovered that Fox possessed 2,833 different child pornography files, 539 of which he created. He committed these offenses between July and December 2021.

As a result of the investigation, Fox was charged with four counts of rape of a child; two counts of aggravated indecent assault; one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child; four counts of unlawful contact with a minor; one count of aggravated indecent assault with a person less than 13 years old; two counts of incest of a minor; one count of possession of child pornography; four counts of corruption of minors; one count of criminal use of a communication facility; one count of indecent exposure; and one count of indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old.

The investigation was a combined HSI Philadelphia and Pennsylvania State Police Department effort with significant assistance from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

“HSI Philadelphia is proud to have partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office to bring Fox to justice,” said William S. Walker, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. “We hope the severity of this sentence sends a clear message to anyone who might bring harm to children that HSI Philadelphia will work tirelessly with our partners to rid our community of such predators.”

Fox’s defense counsel argued that his defendant was heavily using drugs at the time of the crimes and did not remember committing them; counsel also mentioned the defendant’s own history of abuse and trauma. Defense asked for a 25-75-year sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Muller, who prosecuted the case, refuted this claim, and outlined that the sentencing guidelines regarding the crimes on just one of the victims called for 65-130 years in prison; she asked for a sentence of at least 75-150 years.

“He has been committing crimes for approximately 8 years,” Muller said. “For 8 years in the system, he had a chance to get the help he needed. Now he’s trying to use it as a mitigating factor.” She added “the only way a child will be safe around the defendant is if he remains in prison for the rest of his life.”

Fox spoke shortly when given the opportunity to do so, again mentioning his own personal troubles and the fact that he has accepted responsibility by deciding not to take the case to trial.

Lancaster County Judge Dennis E. Reinaker agreed with the prosecution, stating “I don’t think there’s any worse factual scenario that I’ve seen in 18 years as judge.” He went on to say that taking the case to trial would have been an “exercise in futility” since most of the crimes were recorded on video.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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