Image: Rachel Ann Hicks
Orange County Sheriff's Department
Authorities say Rachel Ann Hicks flew to Maryland to have sex with a 13-year-old boy she befriended online.
NBC News and
updated 1/7/2011 8:43:56 PM ET 2011-01-08T01:43:56

A 36-year-old California woman has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation and rape for allegedly flying across the country to have sex with a 13-year-old boy she befriended online, authorities said Friday.

Rachel Ann Hicks, of Lake Forest, was taken into custody Friday by Orange County sheriff's investigators.

A Maryland state trooper contacted an Orange County sheriff's investigator on Tuesday and reported that the woman initially "met" the boy in September in an X-Box live chat room. The online relationship progressed to phone calls, texting, e-mails and sending sexually explicit images and movies between one another, the sheriff's office said in a press release.

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Hicks told the boy she was 23 years old and flew to Maryland and met him at his home where they had sex over the Thanksgiving holiday, the sheriff's office said.

Shortly after, the boy's family discovered "romantic" text messages on the boy's cell phone and he disclosed what had occurred.

On Friday, investigators served a search warrant on Hicks' residence. She was arrested without incident.

All the evidence collected will be forward to Hanford County Sheriff's Office in Maryland for their investigation, Orange County officials said.

Based on new information, investigators are seeking to identify a second possible victim, a California boy under the age of 18, authorities said.

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