A former town selectman and current executive director of the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center has been placed on leave after being accused of inappropriately touching a woman twice at the reopening of the center in January 2018.
Robert H. Hickey Jr., 53, is alleged to have slid his hand down the woman’s back and rested it on her buttocks during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the downtown theater on Jan. 6, 2018, according to a police report obtained Aug. 2.
The woman told police she moved away from Hickey and claims he followed her and inappropriately touched her buttocks again, according to the report, which was filed in Wrentham District Court.
The 50-year-old woman reported the alleged incident to police July 28. She said did not report it earlier because “she had just pushed the event out of her mind and almost didn’t think it happened,” the police report states.
The woman, according to the report, “was almost in disbelief.”
Hickey, a former contributing columnist for The Foxboro Reporter who served two terms a selectman from 2002 to 2008, did not return phone calls or an email on Aug. 2.
He had send out an email earlier that day about events coming to the nonprofit theater.
Hickey, of 14 Baker St., Foxboro, is one of the local residents who formed a nonprofit group in 2017 and revived the Foxboro center theater, formerly known as the Orpheum, after the venue went through many ownership changes.
He now faces two counts of indecent assault and battery and is scheduled to appear for arraignment in Wrentham District Court on a summons next month.
Jim DeVellis, president of the theater’s board of directors, confirmed that Hickey was placed on leave from the organization but declined to comment on the allegations.
In a statement on the theater’s webpage, DeVellis said, “On behalf of the MRPAC Board of Directors, we want to reassure our community that the number one priority of the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center continues to be providing high quality performing arts experiences in a safe environment to our community, partners, staff and performers.”
The group’s current sound and lighting director, Bob Siteman, will be stepping into the role of house manager.
DeVellis said they are in the “final stages” of selecting an interim executive director.
The theater has year-round programming for all ages including children’s workshops, sensory-friendly performances, movies, concerts, plays, musicals and other entertainment. It has events booked until May 2020.