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Man accused of sexually abusing woman with mental capacity of 5-year-old

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Terry Eugene Ricks | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — A Menan man is accused of sexually abusing a 26-year-old woman with an estimated mental capacity of a 5-year-old. During interviews with investigators, court documents show he admitted to the actions.

Terry Eugene Ricks, 57, is charged with felony sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult. If convicted, Ricks could spend up to 25 years in prison and pay a $25,000 fine.

The Idaho Falls Police Department received a call from the victim’s caretaker on April 15, reporting the alleged sexual abuse. The victim told police she went to Ricks’ home in Menan the day before to watch a movie. She said during the movie, Ricks groped and kissed her.

“(The victim) said no and told him to stop,” according to court documents. “Terry continued to kiss her. Terry told (the victim) that this was a secret between them and to not tell anyone.”

Detectives drove to Ricks’ home to speak with him about the alleged incident. He denied the abuse and told investigators the victim is known to make false accusations. When asked to take a polygraph examination, Ricks agreed, according to court documents.

Ricks walked into the Law Enforcement building in Idaho Falls before his polygraph examination on April 22. He told the detective “he was nervous” and “wasn’t truthful” in their first interview because he was afraid of his wife knowing the truth, according to court documents.

Ricks ultimately admitted to groping and kissing the victim calling the incidents “consensual,” according to court documents.

“He said he feels guilty that he has been cheating with (the victim),” according to court documents. “Terry minimizes the situation and says (the victim) is (an adult). She has the right to have a boyfriend.”

A detective conducted a polygraph on April 24, when Ricks confirmed the incidents of sexual abuse, according to court documents. He told the polygraph examiner he did not engage in sexual intercourse with the victim because he has erectile dysfunction. The detective wrote in his report that Ricks told him he abused the victim over the past six months.

A preliminary hearing for Ricks has been scheduled for June 21. He remains in the Bonneville County Jail on $40,000 bail.