Man charged with child abuse of 10-year-old girl

Florence police say the man took a girl to a public pool.

Posted: Jul. 20, 2018 1:33 PM
Updated: Jul. 23, 2018 5:58 PM

A Florence man is in jail after police said he enticed a 10-year-old girl to go swimming unclothed with him.

James M. Rickard, 25, was charged with traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act and child abuse.

Florence police said they received information earlier in the week that Rickard took the girl to a public pool and enticed the girl to disrobe and enter the pool with him. Police did not say what pool the two went to.

According to UNA officials, Rickard had been hired through a third party company to be a dispatcher for the UNA Police Department. It's unclear how long he worked through the third party on campus at the university.

UNA officials did release a statement saying, "On Friday July 13, the Florence Police Department notified the University of an investigation into the conduct of a non-UNA employee who, while working under contract at the University, may have acted criminally. The matter is being investigated by the Florence Police Department, and the University is cooperating fully. The individual has been trespassed from campus."

Police said Rickard's and the victim's families do know each other, and that the girl did not know Rickard's intentions when she went with him.

Rickard was jailed on $55,000 bond.

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