Dentist sentenced to 180 years in prison

Dentist

A dentist in Alabama was sentenced to 180 years in prison for reportedly treating his practice like a “personal playground” where he raped and sodomized multiple employees and patients, according to a story published April 2 on abc3340.com.

Dr. Joseph Cox, 44, who operated Gadsden Dental in Gadsden, AL, was found guilty in January 2024 of two counts of rape, two counts of sodomy, and eight counts of sexual abuse following a weeklong jury trial.

During sentencing, Circuit Judge, 16th Judicial Circuit of Alabama, George Day sentenced Cox to 25 years in prison for each count of rape and sodomy and 10 years for each count of sexual abuse and ordered them to run consecutively.

Day admonished Cox, who was arrested in April 2021, for running his practice like his “own personal playground” and having zero respect for any woman who came to his office and noted that he did not order the sentences to run concurrently because it would not reflect justice for his victims, according to the story.

During his trial, evidence revealed that employee turnover was significant at Cox’s practice between June 2020 and April 2021 due to his purported inappropriate sexual contact with employees.

Repeated incidents of sexual abuse by Cox allegedly occurred during the practice’s business hours according to testimony provided by eight of his former employees. Of these employees, two testified that the dentist’s inappropriate contact went beyond touching and escalated to forcible rape and sodomy, and three workers told the jury that he exposed them to unwanted sexual contact while he was working on their teeth, according to the story.

Additionally, this wasn’t his first brush with the law. In 2012, Cox pleaded guilty to three counts of harassment for engaging in unwanted contact, including spanking an employee. For these offenses, Cox was sentenced to probation, and his dental license was suspended for six months, according to the story.

Cox graduated from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry and opened his dental practice in January 2017, according to the practice website.

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