FOXBORO (CBS) – As a Former Foxboro selectman faced a judge Thursday on indecent assault charges, some are raising questions about his past. WBZ’s I-Team has discovered it was not his first brush with police.
Robert Hickey is well known in Foxboro, not only for his political experience, but for his public access television talk show, his role as the voice of the annual Founders Day Parade, and his former job as head of a local theater.
He’s accused of groping one woman who worked for him at Foxboro’s Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center…and assaulting another woman. According to court documents, the woman says he put his hand “on her buttocks” twice.
His defense attorney, Brian Murphy, says he didn’t do it. “Somebody has an ax to grind against him and is trying to gin up some false accusations.” Murphy showed the I-Team a picture. He says it proves Hickey was not standing next to one of the women, who says he touched her during a photo shoot.
But the Foxboro police report refers to what they call “an unsettling pattern,” saying, “Mr. Hickey has an interesting past with a track record of victimizing and taking advantage of women.” What are police talking about? The I-Team uncovered a string of police reports.
Frederick county, Virginia 1983: Hickey and Tonya Bennett were teenagers. “I was bruised and bloodied, and sexually assaulted,” said Bennett. She said he kidnapped her for eight hours. The report shows police opened an abduction case, saying Hickey “engaged in instances of sexual battery”. But instead of facing charges, he went to a psychiatric hospital. “Now, I’m just angry and I think he’s not ever going to be punished for what he did to me,” said Bennett.
For more than two decades that followed, Hickey had no other known police incidents.
Mansfield, 2008: Police book Hickey on indecent assault charges after an incident at a gym he co-owned. According to a Foxboro Police report filed years later, “the report detailed an alleged sexual assault of a child who was 16 years of age… No charges were ever brought because the parents…refused to let their child testify.”
Boston 2015: Hickey shows up in another police report after 22-year-old Brittany Rams called her mother to pick her up at Howl at the Moon bar. When her mom didn’t find her there, police tracked her down in a hotel room with Hickey. The police report doesn’t accuse Hickey, but Brittany’s mom wonders what really happened. “I can’t get Brit involved because Brit’s gone, but I can support these other women.” Her daughter died in an unrelated overdose in 2018.
Hickey’s attorney says none of these cases should raise concerns. “That does not show a pattern of criminal activity. It does not show anything that’s worrisome, because while…he’s interacted with the police before, they’ve never believed that he committed a crime.”
Foxboro’s police chief had no comment. Hickey is no longer working at the theater.