Man accused of recording girls on his yacht in Myrtle Beach out of jail

Man accused of recording girls on his yacht in Myrtle Beach out of jail

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A Cherryville businessman arrested in Myrtle Beach after being accused of recording young girls as they showered on his yacht has bonded out of jail.

Horry County jail records show Richard Hilliard, Jr. is no longer behind bars.

"This man is a sick man and got all of us to trust that he was an honest man," one of his alleged victims said in court Wednesday. "To find out he was a pervert who videotaped younger women and girls, your honor, I beg for you to protect each and every one of us and the society we live in from such a monster."

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Hilliard was initially arrested earlier this week on charges of sexual voyeurism and photography and violating a place of privacy, officials said.

Police re-arrested Hilliard Tuesday night on several additional charges of voyeurism and he was booked into the Horry County jail.

He appeared in court Wednesday in Conway on the new charges. The judge gave him a $175,000 bond. Jail records show he bonded out Thursday morning.

"Mr. Hilliard violated our privacy," another alleged victim said. "I'm still reeling from this ordeal and trying to sort through my feelings."

We first updated WSOCTV news app users with a notification just before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday that there could be more victims in this case.

Download the WSOCTV news app for your smartphone and get updates on this developing story as they come in.

According to the latest charging documents, there are eight total victims. Three of them are juveniles while the other five are in their late teens and 20s.

Channel 9 learned Hilliard invited a group of eight girls onto his boat in Myrtle Beach last weekend, including three minors.

A mother of one of the girls, who said her daughter was a babysitter for Hilliard, was also there to chaperone.

She said Hilliard told the girls to use the shower on his yacht Sunday night. She said, “My daughter saw an iPad sticking out of the duffel bag just a little bit”

She said it was recording video, “and for her to have to see what he has videoed is sick.”

According to an arrest warrant obtained by Channel 9, Hilliard admitted to secretly setting up the iPad inside the bathroom to record one of the girls. It also notes the yacht was named Yachts O' Troubles.

A group of his alleged victims was also in court for his initial appearance Monday.

“Give us a no-contact order as well, because I do not want any contact from him or him around any of these girls that are present,” a mother of one of the girls said.

One of the alleged victims said, “It’s not fair for me and the rest of these girls that have to live in the same community as him to have to. He knows where I live. He knows my family.”

“If he knew anything about criminal justice, he would realize that videoing girls in a shower in which was premeditated is wrong, completely wrong,” the mother said in court.

That mother said they hatched a plan to get the iPad and found dozens of files on the device spanning years. The mom pretended she was sick and passed out. They said they did that to escape Hilliard, who they said was armed. They took the iPad and drove straight to the police station.

Investigators reviewed the iPad video, then told Hilliard to turn himself in. He did around 11 p.m. Sunday.

The mother asked, “What else have you done?” “There’s so much more that has been done, because who can be this sick?”

“Ma’am, my heart breaks for you,” the judge said.

Channel 9's Ken Lemon received a tip on Tuesday that the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office was conducting a search of the home where Hilliard lives in Cherryville.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the mansion and saw several investigators going in and out of the residence looking for evidence.

"It's scary because I have a 9-year-old daughter and two little boys," neighbor Ashely Linberger said.

Hilliard is part of a prominent family that owns Modern Polymers, a high-tech foam molding business.

Channel 9 discovered why detectives were able to raid his home. A search warrant says the girl who found the iPad also found video of another babysitter, this time recorded in Hilliard's daughter's bathroom.

Investigators who were at Hilliard’s home Tuesday said they seized several devices, including laptops, SD cards and cameras. They said it will take three days to review all of the items and determine if they will add more charges.

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