The Maryland charges against Ricks — which include child sex abuse and various sex offenses involving a foreign exchange student who lived with Ricks and his wife — are the only ones outstanding against the former teacher after a federal plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Alexandria incorporated several cases. Ricks pleaded guilty to staging photographs of naked boys he abused while they were passed out.
Those charges spanned Ricks’s three-decade career as a teacher, camp counselor, Boy Scout leader, babysitter, tutor and foreign exchange host. A Washington Post investigation published in 2010, before he was charged with federal crimes, discovered that Ricks had abused boys in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Japan. Since then, another victim has said Ricks abused him at a private school in Georgia in the mid-1980s.
Newell said he is pursuing the local charges because he hopes to convict Ricks of abuse and not just for photographing it.
“I wouldn’t be bringing him back if I didn’t think there was a reason to do so,” Newell said.
Ricks could face an additional 80 years in prison if convicted. He is currently scheduled for release in 2032. “I suspect I’d be asking for a consecutive sentence to give some closure to victims and those who are not having cases brought forward on their behalf,” Newell said.
In Caroline, Ricks is accused of molesting a German foreign exchange student who lived with him in Federalsburg during the 2003-04 school year. The student told The Post that he was unaware of the specific abuse but extricated himself from Ricks’s home after feeling strange about the situation. At the time, the student asked a judge for a restraining order against Ricks, but it was not granted because the boy couldn’t prove abuse.
While investigating the abuse of a teenager in Manassas, FBI agents and police found journals in which Ricks described molesting the exchange student, according to prosecutors. They also discovered videos and photographs of the abuse, which allegedly happened after Ricks got the boy drunk.
“When you see the video and read the diaries, it’s clear that he believed the victim was unconscious,” Newell said.