I had to blow the whistle on my adopted father: Son helps bring down accused child molester

Date: 2011-04-03

BY JOE KEMP

The adopted son of a former hero NYPD cop accused of molesting three boys says he helped bring down his dad, but it came with a price - the scorn of his family.

Shane Fox, 32, tipped Pennsylvania authorities off to his father, William Fox, 65, in 2008 after he walked in on the retired officer abusing a 16-year-old adopted son.

"I told my wife and we called the cops from there," Shane Fox told the Daily News.

The tip came as another victim, Frank Spinelli, 43, alerted Staten Island authorities that the ex-cop molested him when he was a Boy Scout in the late 1970s.

Their warnings sparked an investigation that ended with Fox's arrest at his Liberty Township, Pa., home on March 21.

Shane Fox said coming forward was no easy task and has brought threats from his adopted brothers.

"Do you think he deserves this?" he said one brother barked at him over the phone. "You're only doing this for attention."

William Fox, who was with the NYPD for 11 years until an accident forced him to retire, gained national attention in 1981 for talking a 17-year-old runaway out of leaping off a Bowery building. The lifelong bachelor adopted the teen, Michael Buchanan and penned a book about the tale.

The decorated officer used his credentials and prestige to adopt 10 at-risk boys - including some with mental disabilities - in three states, Shane Fox said.

The younger Fox - who suffers from a mental disability stemming from an accident when he was 3 months old - said he lived with five foster families before the hero cop adopted him in Florida in 1994.

"Being a retired cop, I never thought he was like this," Shane Fox said. "I found out the first night - that's when he started touching me."

But the new father treated him to gifts and travel that he never experienced before and brought him to Pennsylvania with his new family.

"Everything I wanted, I got," he said.

"Everybody made him out to be a hero," he said. "But when you live with the guy, it's a totally different story."

Shane moved back to his father's home in 2008 with his wife and children, but he called the cops because he couldn't stomach seeing his adopted brothers being abused.

William Fox is currently being held on $100,000 bail in Pennsylvania on rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges. He has a court appearance Wednesday.

Shane Fox - who has a 1-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old stepson - said coming forward will be worth it when the suspected molester is behind bars for good.

"It will be justice in my eyes," he said.

"I don't want my kids to go through what I went through."

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