Local business owner pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

Published 8:35 am Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A local business owner facing multiple charges in connection with a child sexual abuse investigation appeared in court with his attorneys on Monday and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges against him.

Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department arrested Gary Mac Hicks, 57, of 105 Second Ave., Hampton, in March after a Carter County Grand Jury issued an indictment charging him with two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, three counts of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor, and two counts of tampering with evidence. The indictment was handed down Friday by the Carter County Grand Jury.

Monday marked the second court appearance for Hicks. During his first appearance on May 21, Judge Stacy Street reset the case for August 6 to allow Hicks time to hire an attorney. Hicks appeared before Street on Monday with his attorneys Steve Finney and Bill Byrd and was arraigned on the charges against him. Hicks entered a plea of not guilty.

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Street reset the case for December 14 to allow time for attorneys to file motions in the case.

The charges against Hicks stem from an investigation by the Elizabethton Police Department into allegations that Hicks had unlawful sexual contact with a minor he employed at his business. Hicks is the owner of the Sycamore Drive-In restaurant located on Sycamore Street in Elizabethton.

Hicks is currently out of jail after posting a $25,000 bond following his arrest in March.

This case is being prosecuted by the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, Pro Tem.