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BLACKFOOT â€” Appearing before Judge Gregory Moeller in Seventh District Court on Thursday, Christopher Cox, the former principal of Snake River Junior High School, changed his plea to guilty on one of three counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 days. Prosecutors dropped the other charges in exchange for the guilty plea.
Cox's court appearance came just days before his scheduled jury trial on July 11.
The victim was a 14-year-old student who has since left the area with her family. The criminal complaint against Cox alleges that between Jan. 1 and Aug. 7, 2011, the defendant had sexual contact with a female minor "not amounting to lewd conduct," but included simulated sexual intercourse by "dry humping" and inappropriate touching.
Cox admitted in court to having touched the victims breast's. Prosecutors allege that the encounters occurred on school property and at her home. The guilty plea was part of a non-binding plea agreement. Cox had been the principal for four years when he submitted his resignation in February.
Cox will be undergoing a psychosexual evaluation and will remain in custody. The maximum sentence is 25 years.