A Buford man accused of masturbating in public and targeting young people in a series of incidents of public indecency has now been formally charged by the Forsyth County Superior Court.
Court documents state that on May 13, a grand jury chose to indict Joseph Scott Hice, 47, for child molestation, three counts of public indecency and five counts for sexual exploitation of children.
Hice was arrested in August of 2018, after it was reported to authorities that a suspect in a vehicle had allegedly paced “alongside a school bus down Peachtree Parkway” while masturbating in plain view of students on the bus, Cpl. Doug Rainwater of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.
Rainwater said that Hice is also accused of pacing alongside a school bus in April 2018.
He said that after Hice’s car was identified by witnesses, deputies determined that he was also a suspect in a previous incident in May 2018 where he allegedly masturbated in his car near students from South Forsyth High School.
“He was sitting in his car at the Dunkin‘ Donuts on Peachtree Parkway masturbating as young girls walked by,” Rainwater said. “We believe he was targeting young people.”
Indictment documents also allege that at the time of his arrest, Hice was found in possession of five images containing minors engaged in sexual acts.
In addition to the counts that he has been charged with locally, Rainwater said that Hice may have violated parole in Gwinnett County for a similar charge.
Gwinnett County Court Records show that Hice was previously charged with public indecency in October of 2017.
Hice’s case in the Forsyth County court will be presided over by Chief Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley and will be prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Sandra Ann Partridge.
In an email to the Forsyth County News, Hice’s attorney Evan Watson said that they could not comment at the present time.
Hice is being held in the Forsyth County Jail and is under no bond.