FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A sexual predator and a mother are both headed to prison after Fresno County sheriff's deputies uncovered child sex crimes in an unusual three-way relationship.
The crimes involve a so-called "throuple" trying to add an 11-year-old girl as a third sexual partner for Brent Cox in 2020.
Deputies arrested Cox, his wife, Jillian, and their girlfriend Tammy Schreiner last year for crimes against Schreiner's daughter.
The memory of crimes her mother helped Brent Cox commit against her overwhelmed the victim. She tried to write a letter to the judge deciding punishment for Cox and her mother, Tammy Schreiner, but couldn't.
"Simply thinking about what happened to her brought her to tears and she really broke down," said prosecutor Andrew Janz.
In August, Brent Cox admitted to continuous sexual abuse of a child and four other felonies.
His victim's family members told me the girl is in a much better mental state now. But they believe the crimes could've been prevented if Cox hadn't walked away untouched after similar accusations from a 6-year-old girl in Hayward in 2010.
Police investigated, but the case was never prosecuted and it never will be as part of Cox's plea deal in the Fresno case.
The victim's family members didn't get quite the punishment they wanted, but they got apologies from both Cox and Schreiner.
"I understand what I did is wrong," Brent Cox said. "I deeply regret what I've done and I apologize to everybody that I hurt - the victim, the families. I have a really deep hurt and regret in my life that I'll never be able to fix because of what I've done to them."
"I accept full responsibility for my part in this, everything I did," said Schreiner. "And I just hope one day that my daughter can forgive and trust me again and we can mend our relationship."
But the victim's family members don't think Cox or Schreiner are sincerely remorseful.
They noticed the two inmates talking and smiling at each other in court Wednesday.
Janz said Schreiner always deflected blame until her last-minute apology.
"I don't believe it," the deputy district attorney said. "I think that they got a good deal and so they were happy about that. Throwing in an apology at this late hour doesn't really make a difference. Other people again have to pick up the pieces of what they did."
Brent Cox will serve a prison sentence of more than 16 years.
Tammy Schreiner will serve more than four years.
Jillian Cox is on probation after serving a one-year jail sentence.