Adam Lanza’s psychiatrist pleads guilty to sex assault
By Daniel Tepfer
May 31, 2019
Paul Fox, 66, who previously had an office in Brookfield, pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge William Lavery to one count of second-degree sexual assault under the state statute forbidding psychotherapists from having sex with their patients.
Under the plea agreement the judge said he would impose seven years, suspended after Fox serves 18 months and followed by 10 years of probation when he is sentenced July 10.
Fox would also have to register as a sex offender.
State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky confirmed Friday that Fox had pleaded guilty but declined comment.
Fox could not be reached for comment.
Fox had treated Adam Lanza five years before the 20-year-old Newtown man on Dec. 14, 2012, went on a shooting spree in the Sandy Hook Elementary School killing 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members.
Before driving to the school, he had shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the school, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
State police detectives investigating the Sandy Hook tragedy later interviewed former patients of Fox and uncovered sexual allegations against the psychiatrist, according to court documents.
A then 18-year-old Western Connecticut State University student, identified as Jane Doe in court records, had begun seeing Fox in 2011 for treatment of depression and an eating disorder, authorities said, and at some point, he began having sex with her.
The woman told investigators about the sexual relationship, saying she was “drugged up and out of my mind” on a cocktail of prescription drugs Fox prescribed, court documents state. The sexual encounters occurred at his Brookfield office and on a sailboat, he kept at Candlewood Lake, documents show.
Fox later surrendered his medical license and moved first to New Zealand and later Maine.
A report issued by the Office of the Child Advocate in November 2014 said that Lanza had Asperger’s syndrome and as a teenager suffered from depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but concluded that they had “neither caused nor led to his murderous acts.”
Fox told detectives in a Dec. 17, 2012, telephone interview that he had destroyed any records he had of his treatment of Lanza but recalled last seeing him when Lanza was about 15. He said the teen was “very rigid … resistant to engagement” and recalled that he had “aggression problems,” police said.
An assessment by the psychologist at Newtown High School refers to an evaluation Fox did of Lanza in September 2005, according to police reports.
Fox was first licensed to practice in 1988, according to health department records.