A Christian County grand jury indicted a Billings man accused of molesting a girl, upping the amount of felony charges he faces from 8 to 18.
The grand jury returned a 18-count felony true bill of Gary W. Hicks, 23, who is now accused of seven counts of statutory sodomy of a person less than 12 years of age, three counts of first degree child molestation, and eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor child.
Hicks was initially arrested Jan. 2, following an interview at the Nixa Police Department on Dec. 31, 2018. Following the grand jury indictment, what was once a $30,000 bond is now a $500,000 cash only bond. Hicks is currently being held in the Christian County Jail in Ozark.
The grand jury indictment accuses Hicks of engaging in sex acts with the girl as well as touching her inappropriately under her clothing. Hicks sexual exploitation of a minor child charges all relate to allegations that he “knowingly created child pornography” by photographing the girl touching him.
Hicks was arraigned in circuit court on the grand jury indictment on Feb. 28. His case was continued to May 1, 2019, after Hicks entered a plea of not guilty and objected to each count in the indictment based on the language used in the indictment.
In a probable cause statement filed Jan. 2, a Billings police officer describes an interview in which Hicks allegedly confessed details on his sexual involvement with a child less than 10 years of age. According to the probable cause statement, Hicks was sexually involved with the girl in several instances between July and November of 2018. The probable cause statement says Hicks directed the girl to perform sex acts on him, and touched the girl inappropriately on multiple occasions.
The incidents allegedly occurred at a home on East Mt. Vernon Road in Billings.
Statutory sodomy of a person less than 12 years of age is an unclassified felony under state law.
Under Missouri law, a class A felony, which encompasses both the child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor child charges, carries a prison term of no less than 10 years and up to 30 years in prison upon conviction.
Editor’s note: In the Headliner News’ coverage of court cases involving minors, especially with allegations of sex crimes or molestation, some details found in court documents are intentionally omitted. This is done in effort to adhere to the Headliner News’ policies for news coverage and to protect the identities of minors and/or the victims of sexual offenses.