Crime & Courts

Convicted murderer arrested on suspicion of raping child he was baby-sitting, police say

Wichita police discuss convicted murderer who was arrested in child rape case

Clifford Eugene Cox, a convicted murderer, was arrested in Wichita on Monday after a parent reported he had sexually assaulted their 8-year-old child for years.
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Clifford Eugene Cox, a convicted murderer, was arrested in Wichita on Monday after a parent reported he had sexually assaulted their 8-year-old child for years.

A convicted murderer was arrested in Wichita on Monday on suspicion of raping an 8-year-old girl he was baby-sitting, police say.

Clifford Eugene Cox, 56, was arrested and booked into jail on charges of rape of a child, aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecencies with a child, Sedgwick County Jail records show.

The girl’s father reported on July 1 that he suspected Cox of sexually assaulting the girl multiple times over the years, Wichita police Officer Charley Davidson said Tuesday.

“It was reported as possibly the male (Cox) had possibly sexually assaulted the 8-year-old victim over the last couple of years on multiple occasions when in his care,” Davidson said.

Cox is a convicted murderer. He pleaded guilty in 1984 to strangling Cathryn Kessinger of Winfield with a rope. He was sentenced to life in prison but was paroled in 2006, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.

Cases involving children that happen over a long period of time in the past are difficult to investigate, Davidson said.

“They are very difficult, obviously, when involving a child, but they (Wichita police investigators) are trained — very highly trained — but we will get all the details that they need to understand exactly what happened and be able to present that case for possible charges.”

The girl was not the only child around Cox, Davidson said in an email Tuesday.

“There were other children in the home at times the incidents occurred,” Davidson said in the email. “The other children were siblings of the victim and children of the suspect.”

Davidson said Cox and the girl’s parents are acquaintances. Both parents declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday morning.

Cox’s bail amount was set at $250,000 Tuesday afternoon.

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