Man found guilty of 2016 Metro train rape

WASHINGTON — A man was found guilty Tuesday after prosecutors said he raped a woman while riding Metro’s Red Line in 2016.

On Tuesday, a Montgomery County jury found John Hicks, 41, of Northeast D.C., guilty of charges that he raped a woman on board a moving Metro train. He was found guilty of first degree rape, first degree sex offense and second degree assault. The guilty verdict means he faces consecutive life terms at his sentencing.

On April 12, 2016, the victim, a night-shift nurse, told Metro police she was dozing off on the Red Line Metro train to Glenmont around 10 a.m. when she awoke to find a man, later identified as Hicks, approaching her as they were passing the Fort Totten station. Prosecutors said Hicks used a knife to threaten the woman before he raped her and forced her to perform another sex act.

“It was a terrifying event for the victim who simply was trying to make her way home from work,” said John McCarthy, Montgomery County state’s attorney.

Hicks was arrested hours after the attack.

Hicks’ attorney said police arrested the wrong man. Prosecutors said his DNA was found on the seats of the train where she was assaulted and his DNA was found co-mingled with hers on  a tissue and rag in a Metro car.

Police said Metro’s high-definition surveillance video from the Glenmont station helped identify Hicks. Also, a Metro Transit police detective immediately recognized him as a suspect wanted in another sex offense a week earlier.

One of the videos shows Hicks walking off the Metro train and then pointing and seemingly saying something to the victim. He walks along the platform, following the victim walking through the train to leave, but when she leaves he walks back onto the train and seconds later comes out the other end.

Hicks’ own mother identified the images from Metro surveillance cameras as her son.

“Whether it was the identification by his mom, the other camera angles that the jury could see for themselves, or the DNA evidence that absolutely directly linked him to the sexual assault, this was a strong state’s case,” McCarthy said.

Hicks’ sentencing date is yet to be determined.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

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