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Ringleader in Bizarre Fresno Child Sex Abuse Case Will Be Off the Streets for 18 Years



Brent Cox pleaded guilty in a child sexual abuse case involving his wife and their live-in girlfriend on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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When Fresno resident Brent Cox, his wife, and their live-in girlfriend were arrested on charges of sexual abuse last year, a neighbor told GV Wire that if the allegations were true, “you got to take these people off the street.”

The shocking accusation that the trio of Cox, his wife Jillian, and Tammy Schreiner sexually abused Schreiner’s then 11-year-old daughter was true.

And now the 42-year-old Cox is headed to state prison for at least 18 years after striking a plea deal with the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday.

Facing up to 40 years in prison, Cox changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in Fresno County Superior Court. He is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 14.

Victim Spared From Having to Testify

In exchange for Brent Cox’s guilty plea, prosecutor Andrew Janz told ABC30’s Corin Hoggard that the victim was spared the emotional trauma of having to testify against Cox.

“This is one of those situations where she was traumatized for years and she’s doing better now and we really don’t want to have her relive those bad circumstances,” Janz said. “And we made this plea deal in conjunctions with talking to the family.”

A deputy arrests Jillian Cox in February 2021. She received a one-year jail sentence. (Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

Wife, Girlfriend Previously Convicted

Jillian Cox previously pleaded no contest to willful cruelty to a child in a plea deal that resulted in a one-year sentence in county jail and probation.

Schreiner also took a plea deal in which she admitted to having sex with a minor and child abuse endangerment. She faces a maximum of eight years in prison at her sentencing next month.

Sheriff’s Office detectives stand outside of Brent Cox’s home on Princeton Avenue in central Fresno after serving a search warrant in February 2021. (Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

How to Report Sexual and Domestic Abuse in Fresno County

The Fresno County Child Protection Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number to call is (559) 600-8320.

The Marjaree Mason Center’s 24-hour crisis hotline is (559) 233-HELP (4357).


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email