Former Polk deputy arrested for lewd messages - FOX 13 News

Former Polk deputy arrested for lewd messages

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POLK (FOX 13) -

A resigned Polk County deputy was arrested Friday for having inappropriate contact with an underaged girl.

Mark Hicks is charged with the Use of a Computer to Solicit a Minor, Exposing a Minor to Harmful Material, Tampering/Destroying Evidence, and Battery.

According to the Bartow Police Department, they received word Hicks had been sending lewd messages and images to a 17-year-old girl. Their investigation revealed the girl had visited hicks back on August 7th, and during that time, he had kissed and fondled her without her consent. Later that day, police say Hicks used a cell phone to send the girl lewd text messages, including a picture of his private area.

Late Friday, detectives made contact with Hicks at his home. During questioning, detectives say he admitted to kissing and hugging the victim, and sending the lewd pictures.

While Hicks was being processed at Bartow Police Department, authorities say he attempted to hang himself while in a holding cell. He was transported to the Bartow Regional Medical Center and eventually cleared.

He is currently being held in the Crisis Stabilization Unit at the Polk County jail.

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