PIPESTONE — A former Pipestone youth pastor is in police custody after a youth reported to law enforcement that he had been sexually abused by the pastor.
The victim, now an adult, stated that Desmond Hicks, 34, now of George, Iowa, had repeatedly touched the victim inappropriately while the victim was in seventh grade, and that oral sex occurred at least once during the period of abuse.
At the time, the victim had been in foster care with Hicks's now-wife, and the victim and his foster mother would sometimes travel to Pipestone to visit Hicks. On those occasions, the victim explained, Hicks would abuse him after his foster mother went to sleep.
Following the victim's report, law enforcement officers in Lyon County, Iowa executed a search warrant on Hicks's residence. During an interview with police, Hicks reportedly said "the victim was the first male child that he had sexual relations with and that [Hicks] thought it was consensual," according to the criminal complaint. He allegedly admitted to two cases of sexual conduct with the child and when asked how old the victim was at the time, said 13 or 14.
Regardless of whether Hicks thought the youth agreed to the sexual contact, a child under 16 cannot legally consent to sex. Hicks is more than 15 years older than the victim.
Hicks was arrested and charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine, but actual sentencing will depend on Hicks's criminal history.
Hicks is being held in Pipestone County Jail on bail set at $25,000 with conditions or $100,000 without. His initial court appearance is scheduled for August 4.