Suspect admits to kidnapping, assaulting minor in court documents

Joshua Hicks makes his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Friday, July 5, 2019. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

A man accused of kidnapping and sexually abusing a minor confessed in detail to investigators, according to court documents filed in the Natrona County Circuit Court.

He also admits to previously exposing himself to minors on at least two occasions.

Joshua Hicks made his initial appearance in circuit court on Friday afternoon. His paperwork was filed later and made available this morning.

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According to the report, Hicks is facing charges of felony aggravated kidnapping, sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, and sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree.

According to the report, the victim was playing near her apartment when her guardian noticed her missing on July 3rd. Police were called around 10:53 a.m.

When police arrived the victim had been returned near her home wearing no clothes and just one sandal, appearing “to be afraid.”

Police quickly secured surveillance video from the surrounding area that showed Hicks’ black truck in the area. Video allegedly showed Hicks waiting around his truck before calling the victim. When she approached, video allegedly shows him picking her up, putting her in the truck and driving away.

In an interview with Child Protective Services, the victim “substantially stated that a ‘mean man’ took her away from her house in a black truck.'”

The victim was able to describe his appearance, recalled two children’s car seats and a bike helmet in the back.

On July 4 at around 4:30 a.m. police were able to locate Hicks’ truck. About an hour later the vehicle was pulled over after failing to stop at an intersection.

Detectives noted similarities to the suspected vehicle seen in surveillance video and Hicks agreed to talk to Casper Police.

According to the report, Hicks first denied the accusations but on further questioning said he had “really ‘****** up’ and that he was going to lose his kids, wife and (business).”

He became emotional and had admitted to taking the victim, saying “he meant the girl no harm” and that he had “a problem with being sexually aroused by looking at young girls.”

He described assaulting the young victim in the back of his truck, and said he didn’t say anything “other than he was not going to hurt her.” He said she told him she “wanted to go back home.”

After the assault, he drove the victim near her apartment complex and went home. He told detectives he “hoped that he would not be caught” but once he saw his truck on social media he “knew that he was going to be caught by police.”

Hicks told police that he was caught downloading child pornography on his grandparent’s computer when he was 20, and admits to being sexually aroused by children since then.

Hicks admitted over the past several years on “over thirty separate occasions, watched young juvenile girls play on playgrounds at schools, in their yards and anywhere he could find them.”

He said he once masturbated while watching girls, and on two other occasions said he “was able to call girls who were five or six years old over to his truck and masturbate in their presence.”

He told police that he had never seen or met his victim but “that he had just found her at random and probably saw the opportunity,” and kept condoms on the steering console of his truck “in order to be ready in case he finds a place where he can masturbate to young girls playing.”

Hicks is being held with a $500,000 cash-only bond and will be issued a public defender.