Rickie Lee Hoyle Jr.
GREENEVILLE — An August trial date in U.S. District Court has been set for the Johnson City man arrested late last month for allegedly attempting to solicit sex from an underage boy.
Rickie Lee Hoyle Jr., 40, appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday morning for an arraignment hearing. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted Hoyle on one count of inducing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. It is alleged that between June 1, 2012, to May 23, Hoyle used a “facility or means of interstate commerce” to attempt to or knowingly persuade, induce, entice or coerce a person under 18 years old to engage in sexual activity.
Hoyle’s attorney, Nikki Pierce with the federal defender’s office, entered a not guilty plea on her client’s behalf at Wednesday’s arraignment. Pierce also requested an Aug. 27 trial date.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Smith told U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis H. Inman that she had advised Pierce that the investigation is ongoing and that Hoyle could face additional charges. If further charges are placed against Hoyle, a superseding indictment would be filed. Smith also said the prosecution would have its discover materials in the case submitted to the federal defender’s office by today.
Inman set the trial date for Aug. 27 in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. A deadline to file motions in the case was set for July 19, and a motions hearing was set for July 30. A plea deadline was set for Aug. 13.
Inman advised Hoyle that if he is convicted on the charge, he faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison, up to a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervised release. He remains in federal custody.
Hoyle was arrested on May 24 following a joint investigation conducted by the Erwin Police Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court on May 29, Hoyle began contacting the alleged victim in June 2012 via Facebook. This led to a personal meeting in January in which Hoyle “inappropriately touched” the juvenile, according to the complaint.
In May, Hoyle offered the victim $200 “with certain circumstances” to help the victim with car repairs, according to the complaint. The complaint states when the victim asked the circumstances, Hoyle responded that he wanted to perform oral sex on the juvenile.
“On May 21, 2013, Hoyle drove to the home of (the victim), who allowed Hoyle to perform oral sex on him for $200. Hoyle did not provide $200 to (the victim),” the court papers say.
After contacting the Erwin Police, the victim received a text message from Hoyle on May 23 in which Hoyle expressed interest in sexual activity, according to the complaint. The Erwin Police Department contacted the TBI for its assistance and, on May 24, Hoyle was arrested after arriving at the Unicoi Walmart to meet the boy, according to authorities.
Following his arrest, a search of Hoyle’s phones revealed “thousands” of text messages between Hoyle and the victim, according to the complaint.
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