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Area man enters plea to sexually abusing child

A longtime assistant pastor in Duncan and former teacher and principal in Elgin and Ninnekah pleaded no contest to sexually abusing a child.

Jody Hilliard, 73, made his plea Tuesday before Special District Judge Ken Graham in Stephens County District Court to five felony counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child, court records indicate. Free on $50,000 bond since April 2016, following a pre-sentence investigation, he is to return to court at 9 a.m. June 20 for sentencing. 

Hilliard is required to have no contact with the state's witnesses. He is being represented by Oklahoma City's Blau Law Firm.

A plea of no contest means Hilliard does not admit guilt for the crime but that the court can determine the punishment. Each count is punishable by no less than 25 years in prison and falls under the 85 percent rule. 

Hilliard was charged in April 2016 with repeatedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl who was in his care. The charges came 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 him inappropriately.

"... She had not told anyone up to this point because she was nervous and scared," according to the affidavit.

The Lawton Constitution

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