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Former assistant pastor to be arraigned on child sex charges

A 72-year-old longtime assistant Duncan pastor and former teacher and principal in Elgin and Ninnekah is set for arraignment on child sexual abuse charges in October.

The Stephens County District Court set 9 a.m. Oct. 13 as the time and date for the arraignment of Jody Hilliard, 72, who is charged with two 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 more than 20 years before being eligible for parole, if convicted.

Hilliard was charged with the crimes in April. He is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl who had been in his care in the summer of 2015.

Duncan police began investigating Hilliard on March 11 after a detective completed 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. 

An incident report from the Cole County, Mo., Sheriff's Office had been provided to Duncan police. The girl told investigators that she'd stayed with Hilliard in June 2015 and while there, he "did a number of things that she knew he should not do," according to the probable cause affidavit, including touching her "butt," crotch and breasts a number of times and that he also forced her to touch his naked penis. She later told a detective that Hilliard also used his tongue on her while in his art studio in the back of the house. 

Hilliard retired after serving as an assistant pastor for First Baptist Church of Duncan for 26 years. He also was a high school teacher and principal in Elgin and Ninnekah for 11 years. He has no prior felony charges or convictions in Oklahoma, according to court records.

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