Local barber arrested

Michael J. Cox, 64, of Anderson, was arrested on several sex-related crimes involving two minor boys.

ANDERSON — A local barber has been charged on suspicion of several sex-related crimes involving two minor boys of unspecified age.

According to court records, Michael J. Cox, 64, of Anderson, was arrested and charged Wednesday with promotion of child sexual trafficking, sexual misconduct with a minor, child solicitation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Herald Bulletin does not identify alleged victims of sex crimes or those close to them.

According to the redacted probable cause affidavit, a family member of the victims reported to police on Oct. 12 that Cox sexually assaulted the boys at his home and at Mick’s Barber Shop, which he owns at 2226 Main St.

The boys reported Cox paid them in cash, alcohol and marijuana in exchange for various sex acts. One of the boys alleged Cox bribed him with alcohol and marijuana for taking as many as six trips to Michigan with him, according to court documents.

“He advises while in Michigan, Cox went to a dispensary and bought marijuana for him,” the affidavit said. “He advised that there were occasions where Cox would give him so much alcohol and marijuana that he would wake up the next day and not remember what had occurred.”

The juvenile also alleged Cox had multiple cameras all over his residence and videos of his the other victim on his phone.

The other victim told forensic investigators at Kids Talk that Cox said he could wait for his younger victim to reach what he believed was the legal age of consent.

One of the juveniles also told investigators that Cox worked at an unspecified hotel in Anderson where he showed the victim different rooms, where sex acts also took place.

“{One of the boys} advised that Michael had given him marijuana to sell before,” the affidavit said. “He advised that he had also rode around with Michael when he was selling marijuana to different customers. He did advise that Michael sold marijuana out of his house and sometimes deal it out of the barber shop.”

Follow Rebecca R. Bibbs on Twitter at @RebeccaB_THB, or call 765-640-4883.

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