Solicitor: Pedophile sentenced to 35 years in prison

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) - A man was convicted Friday ofsexually abusing a young child. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for thecrime.

According to the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office, DaleEdward Hicks was found guilty after a three-day trial and sentenced to 35 yearsin prison for criminal sexual conduct with a minor and 15 years for committinga lewd act on a child.

The sentences will run concurrently.

"We are pleased that the jury really focused on the child'stestimony and that the judge gave such a strong sentence.{} These are the most challenging cases that wetry, which is why our Special Victim's Unit is critical it helps childrenthrough the grueling process of the criminal justice system," said SolicitorScarlett Wilson.

{}During the trial, the11-year-old female victim told the court about years of sexual abuse at thehands of Hicks at his Berkeley County home. The abuse began when she was 5years old and continued until authorities were told four years later.

The girl said she came forward because she was worried her2-year-old sister was also being molested.

"This case boiled down to the testimony of one very bravechild," said Assistant Solicitor Anne Williams. "We knew if the victim was ableto get through the testimony that the jury would see the truth; we are just soproud of this child and hopeful that the family can finally move pastthis."{}

Hicks had a prior record of an armed robbery, theft andassault in the past.

Hicks, 52, will have to serve 85 percent of his sentencebefore being eligible for parole.