Man Accused of Attempted Rape Aboard Red Line Metro Train

Originally published by NBC Washington in May 2016.

Police said a Northeast D.C. man assaulted and tried to rape a woman riding on a Red Line Metro train during rush hour last month.

The suspect, John Prentice Hicks, 39, is accused of forcing the victim to perform oral sex on him as he brandished a knife aboard a Red Line train traveling toward Glenmont at 10 a.m. on April 12.

Hicks is charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree sexual offense and second-degree assault.

The grisly incident allegedly occurred one day after a 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death at the Deanwood Station, and weeks after another teen was shot at the Deanwood station, which is along the Orange Line in Northeast D.C.

The victim in the Red Line case told police she was asleep in the middle section of a rail car as it approached “either the Fort Totten or Takoma stations” about 10 a.m., according to court documents.

As the train continued, the documents say, the man she identified as Hicks approached her and asked her questions such as, “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “Are you going to Glenmont?”

Hicks then displayed a folding knife while the train was at the Forest Glen Station, according to the victim’s statement.

He then enveloped the woman in a “bearhug,” the statement reads. He forced her to another part of the rail car where he attempted to have sex with her and forced her to perform oral sex all while the knife was in his hand, she told police. At some point, a struggle over the knife left the victim with a cut to her finger, she said.

The victim told police she worried Hicks would kill her if she did not comply.

At the Glenmont station, Hicks left the car but ordered the victim to stay where she was, she said in her statement. She told police she saw him re-enter the train on another railcar, and police said cameras appear to show him exiting the station and paying the fare with a SmartTrip card.

A SmartTrip card registered under Hicks’ name shows a charge at Glenmont that day, police said. A Metro Transit officer who reviewed the security camera video recognized Hicks as a man suspected of exposing himself on a Metro train 10 days earlier.

Hicks was arrested by Metro Transit police hours after the incident. He was also identified last week in an ongoing sexual assault case in Montgomery County, police said.

Hicks, of 16th Place in Northeast D.C., is being held without bond.

The suspect, John Prentice Hicks, 39, has been charged with first degree rape, first degree sexual offense and second degree assault after he forced a woman to perform oral sex on him as he brandished a knife aboard a redline train traveling toward Glenmont on April 12.

The grisly incident occurred only one day after a 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death at the Deanwood Station, and weeks after another teen was shot at the same station, which is along the Orange Line in Northeast D.C.

The victim in this case told police she was asleep in the middle section of a railcar as it approached “either the Fort Totten or Takoma stations” about 10 a.m. As the train continued, the man she identified as Hicks approached her and asked her questions such as, “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “Are you going to Glenmont?”
Hicks then displayed a folding knife while the train was at the Forest Glen Station, the victim told police.

He then enveloped the woman in a “bearhug” and forced her to another part of the railcar where he attempted to have sex with her and forced her to perform oral sex all while the knife was in his hand, she told police. At some point, a struggle over the knife left the victim with a cut to her finger, she said.

The victim said she worried Hicks would kill her if she did not comply.

At the Glenmont station, Hicks exited the car but ordered the victim to stay where she was, she said. She told police she saw him re-enter the train on another railcar, and police said cameras appear to show him exiting the station and paying the fare with a SmartTrip card.

A SmartTrip card registered under Hicks’ name shows a charge at Glenmont that day, police said.

Hicks was also “positively identified” last week in an ongoing sexual assault case in Montgomery County, police said.

He is being held without bond.

 

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