A well-known business owner and member of the Cherryville, Florida, community is facing charges for allegedly using a hidden camera to capture videos of girls, some of which were underage, without their knowledge while they were showering on his yacht.
Richard Hilliard Jr. is a 49-year-old man who is a member of the family that owns a foam molding company called Modern Polymers. He and his family are known throughout their community due to the popularity of their business.
Hilliard is the proprietor of a person yacht which he named “Yacht’s O’ Trouble,” and he extended an invitation to eight young women, one of which was his former babysitter, to join him on the vessel for an excursion. He also recruited the mother of his ex-babysitter as a chaperone for the three underage girls and five young women he planned to entertain.
On Sunday evening during their trip, Hilliard reportedly told the girls that they were welcome to use the shower on board the yacht. While the girl who used to babysit for Hilliard went to use the facility she allegedly spotted a duffel bag with an iPad slightly protruding out of the side.
The woman informed her mother of what she had discovered and the iPad was purportedly set up to record the shower area. When her mom inspected some of the files on the device she allegedly found several images containing sexually explicit material. The files, which seemed to have been obtained over a period spanning several years, also included videos of the girls that were on the yacht while they were naked and showering.
The woman decided that she needed to construct a plan to get herself and the girls off of the yacht and notify the authorities of what had taken place, so she acted as if she was very ill and pretended to lose consciousness.
Hilliard, who was believed to be armed, brought the passengers to shore where the woman immediately took the iPad with the recordings to the police.
When the authorities reviewed the contents of the iPad they notified Hilliard and asked him to turn himself in, and he complied with their request that night.
Hilliard was charged with sexual voyeurism, and violating a place of privacy.
The young woman who located the iPad pointed out to the police that she had recognized that some of the videos appeared as if they were taken inside Hilliard’s home, when a young woman that was identified as another one of his babysitters was allegedly seen in a recording while she was using the restroom inside of Hilliard’s daughter’s room. This allowed the approval of a search warrant for the inspection of Hilliard’s property due to the video depiction allegedly taking place on the premises.
Many electronics were taken from Hilliard’s residence during the search, and the authorities believe that it will take at least three days to review all of the contents.
Hilliard was arrested again on Tuesday, and taken to Horry County Jail where quite a few voyeurism charges were added to the initial accusations he is facing. When he appeared before a judge on Wednesday he was issued a $175,000 bond which he paid before his release on Thursday.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a sexual offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.