A Menan man who sexually abused a woman with the mental capacity of a 5-year-old was sentenced to probation Monday with no jail time.
The probation sentence was jointly recommended by the defense and prosecution and accepted by District Judge Jon Shindurling.
Terry Ricks, 58, admitted to the sexual abuse after a caretaker at the adult center noticed the victim had been behaving oddly. The victim told the caretaker Ricks had touched her sexually multiple times.
Ricks originally denied the allegations but came forward a week after police first questioned him. He said he never had sex with the victim and thought their interactions were legal because she was an adult and consented. The victim, however, said some of the incidents happened after she said no.
Police spoke to the victim’s caretaker to confirm the victim’s mental disability classified her as a vulnerable adult. Because of her disability, the victim could not legally consent to sexual acts.
Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Alayne Bean asked that the probation sentence include requirements that Ricks undergo therapy to make sure he understood the victim could not consent.
“This is a case where everyone is on the same page that probation can work, but we have to have safeguards in place for if it doesn’t,” Bean said.
Shindurling ordered Ricks to serve five years on probation, during which he will have to undergo psychological testing and sex offender treatment. Shindurling told Ricks his belief the victim consented was “nonsense, and you need to understand that it’s nonsense.”
Ricks will be required to register as a sex offender.