MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) – A man was convicted Friday of
sexually abusing a young child. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for the
According to the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office, Dale
Edward Hicks was found guilty after a three-day trial and sentenced to 35 years
in prison for criminal sexual conduct with a minor and 15 years for committing
a lewd act on a child.
The sentences will run concurrently.
"We are pleased that the jury really focused on the child's
testimony and that the judge gave such a strong sentence. These are the most challenging cases that we
try, which is why our Special Victim's Unit is critical — it helps children
through the grueling process of the criminal justice system," said Solicitor
During the trial, the
11-year-old female victim told the court about years of sexual abuse at the
hands of Hicks at his Berkeley County home. The abuse began when she was 5
years old and continued until authorities were told four years later.
The girl said she came forward because she was worried her
2-year-old sister was also being molested.
"This case boiled down to the testimony of one very brave
child," said Assistant Solicitor Anne Williams. "We knew if the victim was able
to get through the testimony that the jury would see the truth; we are just so
proud of this child and hopeful that the family can finally move past
Hicks had a prior record of an armed robbery, theft and
assault in the past.
Hicks, 52, will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence
before being eligible for parole.