BEDFORD – A Martinsville man was arrested Thursday on a warrant on a charge of child solicitation and dissemination of matter harmful to a minor.
According to a probable cause affidavit, on January 19, 2021, Austin Spain, of Bedford, who operates Bedford Predator Patrol told police he had created two fake Facebook accounts using young girl’s photos in order to help in the prosecution of child predators.
Spain provided police with sexually explicit messages received from Steven Lloyd Hicks to an alleged 15-year-old girl and requested the girl to send him naked photos. He also sent sexually explicit pornography photos to the alleged girl.
Spain told police he confronted Hicks who thought he was meeting the underage girl on January 4 at Walmart in Bedford. That encounter was recorded and given to police.
Officers spoke to Hicks who at first denied the allegations. He then admitted that he did message the alleged female but only wanted to take her to dinner. He was then shown the photos he had sent the alleged girl and he finally admitted he did send them. He said what he did was wrong and the conversation ended.
The information was forwarded to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and a warrant was issued for Hicks arrest.