A North Carolina man secretly filmed women and underage girls for years on his private yacht he named “Yachts O’ Trouble.”
William Richard Hilliard, Jr., 49, of Cherryville, pleaded guilty Monday to child pornography charges for secretly recording videos of naked underage girls aboard his boat, according to Western District of North Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Hilliard was arrested last June by police in Myrtle Beach on charges of video voyeurism.
“Hilliard was the owner of a yacht called 'Yachts O’ Trouble,' and he had been discovered secretly recording nude videos of unsuspecting females aboard his yacht, including minor and adult guests,” the office wrote in a press release.
He was caught after he invited a group of girls onto his yacht along with a chaperone, one of their mothers.
As one of the girls was showering they noticed an iPad sticking out of a duffel bag in the bathroom, set to record, according to WMBF in Myrtle Beach. The mom took her to the police station to report the incident.
As a result, the FBI coordinated an extensive investigation into Hilliard’s actions, which led them to discover that Hilliard had been illicitly recording people for years.
Hilliard has now admitted that he “secretly produced multiple secret recordings of at least 16 child victims at various locations in North and South Carolina, including aboard his yacht, in his homes, in various hotel rooms, and elsewhere” over the last decade.
Some of the victims were just 5 years old.
Others were young women he hired as babysitters for his young children. Hidden cameras captured them changing and showering.
The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
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