Bowie County jury gives former National Guardsman 35 years

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NEW BOSTON, Texas–A jury in Bowie County handed down a 35-year prison sentence Friday for a former National Guardsman who slipped into a female guard member’s hotel room as she slept in November 2014.

Ronnie Ricks, 33, and a group of other National Guard members were attending trainings at a New Boston hotel Nov. 15, 2014, according to a probable cause affidavit. Ricks and some of his fellow soldiers ate dinner together and then gathered in a hotel room for a night of rest and relaxation. Two soldiers helped a female soldier to room 311 at the Holiday Inn Express in New Boston at about 11:30 p.m. when it became apparent she’d had too much to drink.

According to the affidavit, the woman and her roommate, another female, were each given card keys to the room when they checked in. After the woman’s friends helped her into bed and left her sleeping in the room, Ricks went to the front desk and asked to be given a key to room 311 even though he was assigned to a different room. When she woke the following day, the woman felt as if she had been touched inappropriately and noticed a man’s wedding ring on the table next to her bed.

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The ring turned out to belong to Ricks, who was free on bond at the time for a sexual assault alleged to have occurred in Red River County, Texas. Ricks’ jury convicted him of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit sexual assault. According to officials with the Bowie County District Attorneys Office, Ricks was not given an honorable discharge from the National Guard.

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