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Prineville man charged with sex abuse of late 16-year-old girl

Columbia County prosecutors allege Jonathan Mead harassed 16-year-old girl who died in crash that weekend


Charges have been filed against a Prineville man for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who died in a car wreck following the alleged assault.

HICKS FAMILY PHOTO - HICKS

Jonathan Levi Mead, 32, was arraigned in January in Columbia County Circuit Court on charges of third-degree sexual abuse and furnishing alcohol to minors, according to the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.

The District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Mead after allegations surfaced that Mead may have fondled and groped Seeaira Daun Hicks last summer, during the weekend of her death.

The charges allege Mead touched Hicks’ breast, buttocks and vaginal area at some point between July 4 and July 5, while Mead was staying in Columbia County visiting friends.

Mead was convicted on third-degree rape and sodomy charges in Benton County in 2001, and was charged with failing to register as a sex offender in 2005 and 2012.

Hicks’ mother, Michele Hicks, said Mead was a friend of her daughter’s boyfriend’s family. She didn’t know he was a sex offender until after her daughter’s death.

Her daughter drove to Seaside on July 5 with her boyfriend, Scott Hamlin, and had planned to stay there with friends, including Mead.

Hicks and Hamlin ended up leaving late that night.

Hicks, who had spent a long day at the beach, crashed her 1993 Subaru just before 1 a.m. Sunday, July 6, on a stretch of Highway 30 between Clatskanie and Rainier. She died at the scene. Hamlin, who was in the passenger seat, was hospitalized with injuries but survived the crash.

Michele Hicks said she believes her daughter left that night because Mead was sexually harassing her.

Michele Hicks said she was told by Hamlin and others that Mead continued to harass her daughter during their trip to Seaside over Independence Day weekend, which made Seeaira Hicks uncomfortable and caused her to leave the coast late at night.

“I didn’t want her to stay [the night in Seaside],” Michele Hicks said Tuesday. “I wanted her to come back home. After a big discussion about it, I told her ‘Fine, just stay there.’ Scotty [Hamlin] and his mom told me [Mead] was trying to mess with Seeaira.”

She said before the Seaside trip, Mead had gotten alcohol for a group of teens, including Hicks. Hicks wasn’t intoxicated at the time of the crash, according to investigators, but Michele Hicks said she was told her daughter may have had a small amount of alcohol earlier that morning.

Michele Hicks said she had reservations about letting her daughter stay in a hotel with Mead, but her daughter and Hamlin assured her he was a longtime family friend.

The late teen’s mother said she’s angry with the Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office, which has not filed charges against Mead for his alleged abuse of Hicks in Seaside.

Mead’s next court date isn’t until July 1.

Kim Silverman, a deputy district attorney with the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, confirmed Wednesday, April 29, that Mead will be able to attend the hearing by phone.

“He was booked into Crook County Jail and given a release agreement requiring him to appear in Columbia County,” Silverman noted.

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