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Coventry officer accused of ‘inappropriate electronic communications’ with a minor

COVENTRY – A Coventry police sergeant has been placed on paid leave since October 2019 for allegedly sending inappropriate messages through Facebook to a ...

COVENTRY - A Coventry police sergeant has been placed on paid leave since October 2019 for allegedly sending inappropriate messages through Facebook to a 15-year old girl in 2012 to 2013.

That girl's mother spoke out for the first time at Tuesday night's town council meeting.

For many of the council members, it was the first time they heard about the allegations and said they were surprised they were not notified about it earlier.

"She said that it actually created a lot of anxiety over the years for her. She was very embarrassed," said Jennifer Burdette of Coventry.
Burdette said her daughter, Amber is now 23-years old and married. However, when she was 15-years old in 2012, she alleged she was a victim of Sergeant Mike Hicks who was 32 at the time.

Hick's father was a family friend.  Burdette said Hicks reached out to her daughter on Facebook and said it immediately became sexual. Burdette read the messages to the town council.

"You’re beautiful and I feel like a dirty old man looking at your pictures," added Burdette.

She also shared screenshots to FOX61 where one of them Amber "16 is good to go" referring to the age of consent.

The other one suggested Amber email him photos of her and said as long as he deletes them, he would not get in trouble.

"Why would someone who put their whole career into law enforcement do something so career ending?" added Burdette.

Burdette said her daughter stopped talking to Hicks once she turned 16 after realizing his messages were not okay.

Coventry's Police Chief said a complaint was filed against Hicks in September 2019. State Police then conducted an investigation and on Wednesday, the Rockville State's Attorney notified the department that the criminal case was closed without filing charges.

Councilwoman Lisa Thomas also reacted and said in a statement:

“My heart goes out to the family as these are very serious allegations.  The Coventry Town Council is awaiting updates and I am committed to doing all I can to ensure our families are safe.“

"Using his experience as a law enforcement officer, using his knowledge of the effects of victims go through, the psychological places that victims are in, using his badge as a form of power," added Burdette.

FOX61 did reach out to Hicks through email and as of Wednesday night have not heard back.  He will remain on leave until the investigation is over.

Police said they take these allegations very seriously and will make sure a thorough investigation is conducted.