Three Arrested For Sex Crimes In Franklin County Make Court Appearances

BENTON — Three men arrested by Franklin County authorities for sex crimes made appearances in Franklin County Court Thursday.

According to court reports, Michael Hobbs of Sesser was arrested in May on two counts of child pornography, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, one count of indecent solicitation of a child and one count of grooming. He posted $20,000 bond and was released on June 9. During his appearance Thursday, the judge granted Hobbs’ attorney’s request to have his client’s jury trial date for August vacated and that it be set for sometime in October. Hobbs’ pretrial date was set for Oct. 12.

The judge also granted the attorney’s request to change Hobbs’ bond so he would be able to leave the state for work. Joseph Ryker of Herrin was also in court for a pre-trial conference. Ryker posted $10,000 bond in May and has been charged with six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, one count of indecent solicitation of a child and one count of grooming. His request to have a change in bond was also granted.

The report says Ryker was on house arrest, but has the possibility of employment and asked to be able to leave his home to do this. The motion was granted without any protest from the state. Officials say the cases against Ryker and Hobbs are connected because they share the same victim. Curtis Carr of Mulkeytown was indicted by a grand jury in March on three counts of child pornography, one count of intended solicitation of a child and one count of child grooming. He filed for a continuance of his trial. His attorney petitioned the court to move Carr’s trial date back and schedule a pretrial conference for September.

The judge granted the motion without any objection from Franklin County State’s Attorney Evan Owens. Carr will be back in court for his pretrial conference on Sept. 7 at 1:30 p.m.