Duncan pastor waives jury trial
A longtime assistant pastor in Duncan and former teacher and principal in Elgin and Ninnekah waived jury trial Monday and is scheduled to be tried for sexually abusing a child by a judge March 21.
Jody Hilliard, 73, will appear before District Judge Ken Graham in Stephens County District Court at 9 a.m. March 21, where he will be tried for five felony counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child, court records indicate. Each count is punishable by no less than 25 years in prison and falls under the 85 percent rule. He would have to serve a little over 20 years before eligibility for parole, if convicted.
Hilliard was charged with repeatedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl who was in his care. The charges stem from a Duncan police investigation that followed a report on behalf of the Missouri Department of Social Services following a review of the girl's statement and an interview with a case worker.
In the report, the girl said she'd stayed with Hilliard in June 2015 and during that time, he "did a number of things that she knew he should not do," according to the probable cause affidavit. She said he touched her "butt," crotch and breasts a number of times during her stay and that he also forced her to touch his bare penis.
"... She had not told anyone up to this point because she was nervous and scared," according to the affidavit.