East Bethel man acquitted on criminal sexual conduct charges

An East Bethel man, accused of sexually assaulting a boy who was five to six years old at the time at a Coon Rapids motel, has been acquitted by an Anoka County District Court jury.

Daniel Edward Hicks, 37, was originally charged with felony first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

But the jury Sept. 24 found him not guilty of the first-degree charge and the prosecution had dropped the second-degree count before the case went to the jury.

According to Nicholas Gegen, Hicks’ attorney, the jury began deliberations Friday afternoon, Sept. 21, adjourned for the weekend, then returned with its verdict Monday morning, Sept. 24. The trial had started Sept. 19.

In December 2010, Coon Rapids Police and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation of Hicks involving criminal sexual conduct after a male juvenile, now 12, had made a statement that Hicks had sexually assaulted him in 2004 or 2005, according to the complaint.

One alleged incident involving sex acts occurred at the Inn Town Suites on Coon Rapids Boulevard when Hicks and the boy were alone in a room playing video games.

The boy alleged that Hicks also sexually assaulted him about the same time at Hicks’ work place.

According to Gegen, Hicks took the witness stand to testify on his own behalf.

The allegations stemmed from family issues and the boy’s mother allowed Hicks and his wife to live with them after the boy had made the allegations to family members, Gegen said.

“There are three sides to every story, the victim’s, the defendant’s and the truth,” he said. “This trial got close to the truth.”

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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