Troy Hickman, a 59-year-old man from Georgia, has been handed a 20-year prison sentence after being found guilty of sexually exploiting a family member with disabilities. The charges levied against Hickman were comprised of two counts of aggravated sexual battery and two counts of exploiting and intimidating a disabled adult. Hickman’s confession in May ultimately led to this significant sentencing.
The arrest of Hickman was made possible after an intellectually disabled woman, who had been subjected to his abuse since she turned 18, opened up to a close friend about her ordeal. The friend, deeply concerned, reported the matter to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, prompting an investigation.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the victim and Hickman consistently had extensive periods of alone time together during the years of abuse. Despite facing threats of harm from Hickman to keep her silent, the victim demonstrated immense courage by deciding to seek help.
Assistant District Attorney Elliot Stone, who works in the Domestic Violence Unit, praised the victim’s bravery in coming forward. Stone acknowledged that although Hickman admitted guilt, he attempted to shift blame onto alcohol and even insinuated that the victim had shared responsibility for the crimes committed against her.
Hickman’s punishment encompasses 20 years in prison, with no possibility of parole, followed by lifelong probation. In addition, he is strictly prohibited from contacting the victim or her family, must undergo psycho-sexual evaluation, attend substance abuse treatment, and adhere to specific conditions for sex offenders.
Susan K. Treadaway, the District Attorney of Cherokee County, stressed the profound level of betrayal and exploitation demonstrated by Hickman, who preyed on the vulnerability of his own family member for his own selfish satisfaction. Treadaway expressed her hope that the victim and her family would be able to find solace in the knowledge that justice has been served and that Hickman would not have the opportunity to harm another person in such a way ever again.