Polk Co. deputy arrested in Bartow for alleged physical, electronic interactions with girl

BARTOW, Fla. - A Polk County Sheriff's deputy has resigned after being arrested for alleged physical and electronic interactions with a 17-year-old girl.

According to PCSO spokesperson Donna Wood, PCSO Deputy Mark Hicks was arrested Friday by Bartow Police officers after the department received information alleging he had been sending lewd images and messages to the girl.

A BPD arrest affidavit stated the girl had visited Hicks' home on or around August 7, where she told detectives he kicked and fondled her without her consent. She moved away from Hick and left, according to detectives.

Hicks allegedly began sending the girl lewd images of himself with a cell phone and asked the girl to send him similar pictures.

BPD detectives went to Hicks home Friday and went with them to the Bartow Police Dept. to be interviewed. Wood said Hicks, who was a patrol deputy in the county's central district, confessed to the allegations.

"Hicks' (PCSO) supervisor was notified of the arrest and responded to the police department," Wood said in a statement. Hicks resigned his position as a deputy to the supervisor and was taken to the Polk County Jail.

He was being held in a "Crisis Stabilization Unit" do to an incident while he was still at the jail.

Hicks was arrested in 2004 for a misdemeanor contempt of court on a violation of injunction charge resulting from a child custody dispute. He was later awarded custody of his biological children in December 2005.

The girl will not be identified.

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