Trial postponed in child sex case

Brad Hicks • Jul 26, 2013 at 8:38 AM

The federal trial of a Johnson City man charged in late May with attempting to solicit sex from an underage boy has been postponed until October.

The trial of Rickie Lee Hoyle is now set to begin Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. Last month, 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 trial was originally set to begin Aug. 27. Last week, Hoyle’s defense attorney, Nikki Pierce with the federal defender’s office, filed a motion requested a continuance of the case’s motion deadline, pretrial conference, plea deadline date and trial date.

“The present case presents complicated matters that requires additional investigation before a final determination as to the need for filing pretrial motions,” Pierce’s motion said. “Counsel does not make this request for additional time to delay the proceedings but instead to represent fully her client.”

A hearing on the motion was held Wednesday, and Pierce’s request was granted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis H. Inman. The motion deadline in the case was continued to Aug. 15, and the pretrial conference will take place Aug. 29. A plea deadline in the case has been set for Sept. 19.

Hoyle was arrested 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 2012 via Facebook. This led to a personal meeting in January in which Hoyle “inappropriately touched” the victim, according to the complaint.

In May, Hoyle offered the victim $200 “with certain circumstances” to help the victim with car repairs, the complaint said. When the victim asked the circumstances, Hoyle responded that he wanted to perform oral sex on the juvenile, according to the complaint.

“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 complaint states.

After the Erwin Police Department was contacted, the victim received a text message from Hoyle on May 23 in which Hoyle expressed interest in sexual activity, according to court documents. Erwin Police contacted the TBI for its assistance. On May 24, Hoyle was arrested after arriving at the Unicoi Walmart to meet the boy, according to officials.

If convicted, Hoyle faces up to 20 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and lifetime supervised release.

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