Retired Asst. Pastor Charged with Molestation of a Minor
By Christian Betancourt
April 6, 2016
Police arrested a 71-year-old retired Duncan assistant pastor after they say he had indecent acts with an out-of-town 10-year-old female relative while she visited last summer.
Jody Hilliard, 71, was arrested and charged with two counts of lewd or indecent acts with a child under 12, a felony.
According to police reports, on March 11, detectives with the Duncan Police Department received a report from the Department of Social Services in the state where the victim resides advising them about an ongoing sexual abuse while the minor was in Duncan.
The report stated Hilliard allegedly touched the girl in her private parts without clothes on and made her touch him in his genital area.
As part of their investigation, the report states a DPD detective received a video interview and several reports of the victim giving detailed, consistent descriptions of the alleged abuse to several law enforcement members during her month stay in Duncan.
Hilliard did not give a statement to police.
“Reverend Hilliard vehemently denies these horrible allegations, and we look forward to defending him in court,” stated Hilliard’s defense attorney Ed Blau.
A motion to set appropriate bail filed by Blau stated Hilliard was a pillar of the community for 32 years, served as assistant pastor for the First Baptist Church in Duncan for 26 years, was minister of education for three years at the Central Baptist Church in Lawton and was a high school teacher and principal for 11 years in Elgin and Ninnekah.
“The crimes alleged in this crime are serious,” stated the motion. “There appears to be no physical evidence to support the allegation. (Hilliard) maintains his innocence of the crimes alleged. By all accounts, (Hilliard) has a sterling reputation in the community, and the allegations made in this case are completely outside the bounds of that reputation. The outcome in this case will likely turn on who the jury believes is telling the truth. “
During an initial appearance hearing Tuesday, Blau asked for bond set at $20,000. Sixth Judicial Assistant District Attorney Cortnie Siess asked Stephens County Special District Judge Jerry Herberger to set the bond at $100,000.
Hilliard was booked and released on a $50,000.