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Sex offender gets prison for probation violations

By Robin Y. Richardson
June 22, 2013 at 10 p.m.

A registered sex offender who repeatedly violated the terms of his probation has been sentenced to 16 years in prison by 71st District Judge Brad Morin for revocation of probation.

The defendant, 25-year-old Walter Earl Hicks Jr., was first sentenced in June 2008 at the age of 19 for the sexual assault of two 12-year-old girls, one of which was a relative. The offenses occurred on separate occasions - one a year before his sentencing and the other about two years before his conviction.

He was sentenced through a plea bargain agreement to 10 years probation, at the time, by then-71st District Judge Bonnie Leggat, ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, register as a sex offender for life, comply with all sex offender guidelines, serve 180 days of detention as a term of probation with credit, and perform 600 hours of community service.

Throughout the course of his probation, prosecutors have filed several motions for revocation of probation after learning that he violated several conditions.

Early on in his probation period, court documents show that he violated the treatment and probation rules by missing sessions, drinking alcohol and being tardy to meetings.

In August 2009, licensed chemical dependency counselor, Robert C. Abney, informed the probation department that Hicks was being terminated from the intensive outpatient sex offender treatment program for failing to comply with attendance requirements, having missed several weekly group sessions as well as not paying his fees. The counselor also noted that he demonstrated no effort toward accepting accountability for his sex offense, for his lack of attendance or for his nonpayment of fees. He was discharged with unsuccessful program compliance and failure to show reasonable progress. The counselor described him as a high moderate risk offender with a poor prognosis for treatment.

The court collections manager also filed a notice, informing that Hicks had failed to pay the fine and court costs required to relieve his obligation to the court as a condition of probation. He had also failed to do community service and obtain his GED.

After Hicks was arrested for committing a new unrelated offense, busting the window out of an acquaintance's Cadillac during a rift at a convenience station, thus, violating his probation, prosecutors moved forward and filed a motion in January 2011 to proceed with adjudication of guilt. The motion noted that Hicks violated condition number one of his probation, which orders him to commit no offense against the laws of the state while on probation.

Hicks waived his right to a court hearing before then-71st District Judge William Hughey after having conditions of his probation amended that May. The new conditions ordered him to obtain his GED in the next six months, perform 192 community service restitution hours per year and enroll in the sex offender treatment program with a new therapist.

In February 2012, prosecutors filed a motion to proceed with adjudication of guilt once again after Hicks continued to violate his probation by consuming alcohol and possessing a firearm. The application for revocation of probation was later dismissed after the district attorney's filed a motion to dismiss without prejudice.

The district attorney's office later filed an amendment motion to proceed with adjudication of guilt, advising that Hicks had violated additional terms. According to the amended motion, Hicks was arrested July 13, 2012, for knowingly failing to register as a sex offender. The motion also notes that he failed to report to his probation officer from February 2012 to July 2012; and he failed to notify his probation officer, within three days, of any change in address.

In April of this year, the state filed a written motion for revocation of probation, reiterating the previous conditions Hicks had violated. He was arrested on April 26 for failure to comply with the sex offender registry. The latter violations - failing to register as a sex offender, failing to report to probation officer and failing to give notice of a change in address - led up to his recent sentencing. Since the matter was a plea-bargain case, Hicks waived his right to appeal.

In addition to his 16-year sentence, Hicks has to pay $1,325 in attorney fees and $41 in court costs.



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