PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man jailed on four sexual assault charges was released after a judge reduced his bail from $50,000 to $5,000, acceding to a request by his lawyer, who gave a preview of the man’s defense.
Sidney R. Hicklin Jr., 43, is charged with second-degree rape with forcible compulsion, second-degree assault with strangulation, harassment with threats to kill and unlawful imprisonment.
Hicklin has pleaded not guilty.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson on Thursday reduced Hicklin’s bail after his mother said he would live at her home, and after his lawyer, John Black of Port Angeles, pledged Hicklin would abide by a 24-7 sobriety-testing program.
Hicklin has a status hearing Aug. 14. His three-day trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 31.
“The way I see it so far, it’s a he-said, she-said [kind of] case,” Black told Erickson.
“There’s nothing validating or verifying these allegations.”
Black said Hicklin and the woman had been in a relationship for six months.
“This isn’t the first time they had sex, or if they even had sex this time,” he said.
“They’ve known each other, and they had been together, and this is all reported by her.”
In the probable cause statement, the woman described Hicklin as a friend who was drunk and high on methamphetamine when she visited at about 8 p.m. July 4.
She went to a nearby store to buy beer to try to calm him down because he was becoming “increasingly aggressive,” according to the probable cause statement.
After she returned, she said they were sitting on his couch when he pinned her down, put his hands around her neck, said “I will end you,” and yelled at her about his bank card, according to the probable cause statement.
“[The woman] stated that she closed her eyes because she believed Hicklin Jr. was going to kill her,” according to the statement, written by Port Angeles Police Officer JJ Smith.
He assaulted her for 30 minutes, strangling her before keeping one hand around her neck while he raped her, the woman said.
Hicklin released her when she said she would look for his credit card in her car, and she ran from the apartment, she said.
A sexual assault exam conducted at Olympic Medical Center indicated redness and swelling of her genitals, according to the probable cause statement.
There also was redness on her neck consistent with fingertip marks and a bruise on her right thigh where Hicklin, who is 265 pounds, was allegedly lying on her, according to the statement.
Hicklin later told police the woman left with his credit card to buy beer and did not return.
Hicklin told his bank the card was stolen, “so there’s going to be a lot that’s going to be falling apart with her case,” Black told Erickson.
“I expect we’re going to win this case.”
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Roberson said the woman visited Hicklin to support him “during a relapse” in his alcohol and drug recovery.
The “prolonged period of assault” that ended with a sexual assault “goes to the likelihood” Hicklin will commit further violence, justifying the $50,000 bail, Roberson said.
A sexual assault protection order preventing Hicklin from having contact with the woman remains in effect, Erickson said.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at email@example.com.