South Florida substitute teacher accused of soliciting teen for sex with boyfriend

Police: Girl needs to be ‘taught,’ woman, 50, tells boyfriend

Evelyn Hayes (PBSO/Copyright 2022 Google)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Police arrested a South Florida substitute teacher Tuesday after accusing her of soliciting a teenage girl for sexual activity with her boyfriend.

Evelyn Hayes, 50, faces charges of using a computer to solicit a child and using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.

According to West Palm Beach ABC affiliate WPBF, Hayes was a substitute teacher at Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington.

A West Palm Beach police arrest report states that Hayes had been making arrangements for the 15-year-old girl to “sleep over” at the house of Hayes’ boyfriend, Thomas Hicklin, 50, on Christmas Day.

Hicklin is also charged in the case, court records show.

The girl told detectives that Hayes directed her to text Hicklin and “help him build an online dating website advertising him,” WPBPD Detective Brittany Tatum wrote in her report.

The report doesn’t specify how the two knew the girl.

The two would regularly have “normal conversation(s)”, Tatum wrote, mostly about the website.

Hayes “told the victim she was going to send her to (Hicklin’s) residence on Christmas because she needed alone time,” Tatum said. She said Hicklin then texted the victim, confirming that Hayes wanted her to go over to her house.

“Hicklin offered to buy the victim bras and underwear for Christmas gifts and (Hayes) directed the Victim to text Hicklin her sizing,” the report states.

Later, when the girl was going through Hayes’ phone, she discovered several messages about her going to Hicklin’s house for sex, police said.

“Hicklin, in a text message, offers the victim to come to his house and (Hayes) replies, ‘you can have (redacted) anytime,’” Tatum wrote. “(Hayes) stated ‘OK, cool. We will see what she is ready for.’ Hayes asks, ‘you’ll be alone with her I imagine right.’ and (then) Hicklin stated, ‘YES.’”

Hicklin then told Hayes “it’s important that (the girl) has your permission. Whenever she comes to stay here you need to tell her that she can do absolutely anything she wants,” police said.

Hayes denied Hicklin’s request to shave her, however, according to the report. Police said Hayes agreed with her boyfriend that the girl needed to be “taught” about sexual activity and that the 15-year-old would “return a grown woman.”

“we’ll (sic) I hope so,” Hayes allegedly replied.

Police interviewed Hayes on Christmas Eve, the report states. After being read various text messages to Hicklin, Hayes told detectives that she was “bluffing him,” claiming Hicklin “lured her in” and “expressed his interest in young girls.”

On Dec. 26, police set up a one-party controlled call between the girl and Hicklin, according to the report.

The girl told Hicklin she was only 15, to which he replied, “for me you look 23, you look like a grown woman,” the report states.

Hicklin claimed Hayes initiated the conversation about the victim and told Hayes “there ain’t no you and me,” according to police.

The report states she replied “what about (redacted), she needs somebody to teach her everything.”

According to WPBF, the Palm Beach County School District sent a message to parents and staff about Hayes’ arrest:

“Dear Parents and Staff,

On Tuesday, January 3, 2023, West Palm Beach Police arrested Evelyn M. Hayes on charges including the solicitation of a minor. Ms. Hayes was a substitute at Palm Beach Central High School. She was arrested off campus. While details cannot be disclosed on this ongoing investigation, the allegations do not involve crimes that occurred on School District property.

Ms. Hayes will not return to our school or any District classroom.

While it is believed that this is an isolated incident, anyone with additional information is advised to contact the West Palm Beach Police Department at (561) 822-1900.

Thank you.”

Palm Beach County Schools message

Hayes was being held in the Palm Beach County jail on a total bond of $28,000.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.