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Sex offender kills himself

12-30-2009 Tennessee:

Police suspected man of paying girl to perform acts

The probe began last week when the 13-year-old girl darted from a couple of curious police investigators and ran for a Citico Street home.

Knoxville Police Department investigators work at a house where a body was found Tuesday at 429 Citico St. Convicted sex offender Robert G. Foxx, 74, killed himself in the house, according to police.

It ended Tuesday in the same house when police found 74-year-old convicted sex offender Robert Grey Foxx dead on his couch, a plastic bag pulled snug over his head.

Police said Foxx committed suicide.

He had been arrested Dec. 21 after an investigation revealed he started two years ago paying an 11-year-old girl for oral sex at least twice a week.

"I charged him with violation of the sex offender law by having a minor in his employ without adult supervision," said Knoxville Police Department Investigator Debra Nuchols.

She said a more serious charge of child rape could have been brought by a grand jury.

Knox County prosecutors usually opt for a grand jury presentment in order to spare child sex victims from testifying repeatedly in court.

Foxx, Nuchols said, seemed unconcerned about the felony charge.

"He was mainly worried about how he would get bonded out of jail," she said. Foxx was released from jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

Nuchols said the probe began Dec. 21 when KPD property crimes investigators Stan Cash and Clayton Madison saw a 13-year-old girl standing alone along Ailor Avenue. At the time, they were investigating thefts in the area.

"When they yelled out to her, she ran straight to his (Foxx's) house," Nuchols said.

Cash and Madison followed the girl and became suspicious when Foxx acted strangely during their inquiries. They ran Foxx's name through the law enforcement computer system and discovered he was a convicted sex offender. They immediately alerted Nuchols, and the investigation was under way.

Nuchols said Foxx told her he met the girl through her mother. He said he was looking for a house cleaner years ago and accidentally dialed the woman in Lonsdale. Despite the accidental contact, the woman, who has three daughters, agreed to clean Foxx's home, Nuchols said.

The woman, however, opted to discontinue the arrangement because Foxx kept trying to show her pornographic videos at his home.

"Mom said it made her feel uncomfortable so she sent her daughter over there," Nuchols said.

For the next two years, Nuchols said, the then 11-year-old girl would catch a KAT bus in Lonsdale and go to Foxx's house at 429 Citico St.

"She would go over to his house every Tuesday and Thursday and sometimes on Saturday, Nuchols said. "She'd get paid $10 a day."

Each day the girl would spend about two hours at Foxx's residence before returning home on another bus.

Nuchols said Foxx denied any improper contact with the girl. He claimed he was having an affair with the girl's mother.

The girl was reluctant to reveal the relationship when questioned, Nuchols said. The girl contended that for the past two years she had been cataloging the library in his home.

"She was really shy about talking about it," the investigator said. "But once she understood she hadn't done anything wrong and wasn't in trouble, she told us what had happened.

"She said he had made her watch pornography and touched her below the waist ... and finally she admitted he forced her to perform oral sex on him."

Nuchols included the state Department of Children's Services in the probe. That agency now has custody of the 13-year-old girl and her two sisters, ages 12 and 14, Nuchols said.

Nuchols said her probe is not closed just because of Foxx's suicide.

"I'd like to get mom on a polygraph to see what she knew," Nuchols said.

As of Wednesday, no charge has been filed against the girl's mother.

"The girl said she never told her mom about what was going on," Nuchols said.

Foxx was convicted in 1991 of gross sexual imposition with a 15-year-old in Columbus, Ohio, records show. He had obtained a doctorate in psychiatry in Ohio before his conviction, said KPD Deputy Chief Gary Price. Upon his release from prison, he came to Knoxville.

Foxx apparently was a renowned chess player, also. He regularly set up a chess board in the food court of West Town Mall to play youngsters. That practice ended in 2007 after the News Sentinel featured Foxx in a picture in a match with a boy at the mall and police alerted mall security of Foxx's status as a registered sex offender.

"After that, he was no longer welcomed at the mall," Price said.

Price said it appears Foxx had attempted to compose a suicide note, but he had not finished the effort.

"Talking to his daughter, he had been putting his affairs in order," Price said. That discussion helped police conclude that Foxx had opted to commit suicide rather than face another stint in prison. ..Source.. by Don Jacobs

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