Hill arraigned on sex charges

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Ryker Anthony Hill, 23, of Martins Ferry, was arraigned Thursday before Belmont Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Solovan II.

Hill pleaded not guilty to one count unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a felony of the fourth degree occurring May 1, 2010; two counts of attempted rape, felonies of the first and second degree occurring Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, 2012; two counts gross sexual imposition, a felony of the third degree occurring May 1, 2010 and June 1, 2011; and four counts pandering obscenity involving a minor, a felony of the fourth degree occurring May 1, 2010.

His status conference was set for Nov. 30, with plea agreement deadline Dec. 7 and trial Dec. 18 His bond of $100,000 was increased to $150,000.

During the arraignment, Steve Stickles represented Hill and Special Prosecutor Tom Hampton represented the state.

There was a brief debate over bond amount. Hampton asked that bond be raised to $250,000, noting that the added pandering counts have almost doubled the charges against Hill. Stickles asked for a reduction in bond. He asked Solovan to consider Hill’s ties to the area and that he faces lower penalties since the original count carried a possibility of a life sentence.

The rape counts carry a sentence of five to 25 years and designation as a Tier 3 offender. The maximum sentence for the other charges combined is 19 years.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com