Law Enforcement

Police Officer Accused of Sending Inappropriate Message to Underage Girl – NBC Connecticut

A Coventry police sergeant is accused of sending inappropriate text messages to an underage girl in 2012 and 2013, the department confirmed Wednesday.

That girl is now an adult and no criminal charges were ever filed, but an internal investigation continues.

Coventry’s police chief said a complaint was filed
against Sgt. Michael Hicks in September 2019.

Amber Soucier told NBC Connecticut she made the complaint
one day after she found the Facebook conversations with Hicks from when she was
a teenager. She said they continue to bother her years later.

“It was traumatizing. I mean that’s really the only word I can use,” Soucier said.

Soucier lived in Andover in 2012 and 2013, when she says she
received Facebook messages from Hicks.

In a phone interview, she spoke from her current home in Missouri,
with her mom listening in.

“In a more mature mindset reading them, I was so disgusted and in disbelief and I was reading the way that I was responding and I felt bad for the 15-year-old girl that you know, just didn’t get it,” she said.

The now 23-year-old said when she finally found the Facebook
message thread this past September, she knew she had to tell her mother and
police.

The Coventry Police Department said Connecticut State Police
conducted a criminal investigation and the Rockville State’s Attorney’s Office
closed the case without filing any charges.

“I am a very huge police officer supporter. I’m a nurse. I always raised my children to be very respectful, courteous to the police over the years…I found it very shocking that everything I taught her to believe had been betrayed to her at that age,” said Soucier’s mother Jennifer Burdette, who still lives in Andover.

Soucier said Hicks’ father was a family friend, so it wasn’t
all that weird when Hicks reached out. Until, she said, inappropriate messages started
coming. She shared the messages he allegedly sent to her with NBC Connecticut.

In April 2012, Hicks told her he’s a detective, even sending her a picture of himself. He later wrote…“as long as I don’t offer you sex, try to get sex from you, or ask you for naked pictures…until you are 16…i’m all set.” He goes on, “I’m playing by the rules. Lol. But calling you beautiful is legal.”

Soucier said they never met up, but that he wanted her to.  She and her mother said they wanted to share their concern as an internal investigation into the officer continues.

In an
official statement released Wednesday, Coventry police said Sgt. Hicks
has been on administrative leave since October 1.

“We take these allegations very seriously and will conduct a
complete and thorough investigation into this matter,” the statement reads.

NBC Connecticut reached out to Hicks through Facebook, but
his page has since been deleted.  His father
told NBC Connecticut over the phone that he does not expect his son to want to
speak with us.

NBC Connecticut also reached out to the local union leader, but we have not yet received a response.

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