Accused sex offender is out on bond

Cary Ashby • Feb 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

A Greenwich teenager was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of having unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Lawrence E. Hickman, 19, of 3764 U.S. 224, Lot 26, also entered a "not guilty" plea to tampering with evidence, also in connection with a Dec. 21 incident. His trial date is May 6.

If convicted of the sex offense, Hickman would be required to be classified as a Tier II sex offender. That means he would have to register his address with the Huron County Sheriff's Office for 25 years.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said the victim is more than four years younger than Hickman.

Deputies arrested Hickman at his place of employment, a Milan factory, Dec. 21.

"He was arrested and brought to the sheriff's office, where he admitted to having sexual intercourse with the 14-year-old (girl)," Detective Sgt. Josh Querin said soon after the arrest.

Also arrested was Hickman's girlfriend, a 17-year-old Greenwich girl. She is charged with complicity to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, complicity to tampering with evidence, obstructing official business and underage consumption.

The girlfriend entered denials to the charges Dec. 23 in Huron County Juvenile Court. Her next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 26.

Deputies started investigating the case after the Ashland County Sheriff's Office received a 9-1-1 call at 3:30 a.m. Dec. 21 from a female Huron County resident.

Two detectives and some deputies obtained a search warrant to check on the well-being of residents at Hickman's mobile home. Querin has said deputies found "signs of underage drinking and drug abuse" and while using a follow-up warrant several hours later, authorities recovered "a significant amount of disturbing evidence at the scene that will connect Mr. Hickman directly to the (sex) crime."

Agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation processed the scene.

Hickman posted a $50,000 bond. He is prohibited from having any association with any non-family members under the age 18.

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