For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
August 24 2015
A Washoe County Deputy District Attorney was recognized last Monday for her work as a prosecutor and advocate for children by the Rotary Club of Reno. Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hicks was awarded “Law Enforcement Professional of the Month” at the club’s August 17th meeting for her continuing work in the District Attorney’s Office and the Washoe County Child Advocacy Center.
Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hicks has been with the DA’s Office for 10 years starting in the Child Protective Services Unit working on cases involving abused and neglected children. Thereafter, she moved to the criminal division and is currently assigned to the Major Violators Unit where she specializes in crimes committed against children.
In 2013, Nicole spearheaded the development of a Child Advocacy Center (CAC), a facility dedicated to serving the needs of child victims of crime and their families. The CAC opened in 2014 and is now the center point for a multi-disciplinary team approach to the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against children in our community. Because of the CAC, children crime victims are no longer subjected to repeated interviews in a unwelcoming environment. Since its opening, over 500 interviews of child victims have taken place and successful prosecutions of these difficult cases have increased dramatically. In addition to her role as a prosecutor, Nicole serves as the director of the CAC.
In the last 6 months alone, she successfully prosecuted several defendants who physically or sexually abused children. These defendants received lengthy prison terms, many of which included life sentences. In one case, Thomas Wray Herndon, 35, was convicted by jury and sentenced to 10 life sentences for multiple charges of sexual assault and lewdness with children that he had committed over the course of two decades.
Assistant District Attorney Bruce Hahn said “The District Attorney’s Office is grateful for Rotary’s recognition of Nicole’s unique service to our community, and law enforcement. Her sensitivity and zeal for children led to the creation of the Child Advocacy Center and she continues to be a formidable advocate for an often silent and under-served victim.”