ASHEVILLE, NC — A Cherryville man arrested in June of 2018 for secretly recording several girls taking a shower on his yacht in Myrtle Beach has pleaded guilty to child porn charges.
Richard Hilliard, Jr., 49, pleaded guilty in court on Monday to producing child pornography and possession of child pornography. Officials say he could face up to $500,000 in fines and up to 50 years in prison.
Hilliard was arrested on June 11, 2018 for video voyeurism after authorities say he was secretly filming both minor and adult females while they showered aboard his yacht named “Yachts ‘O Trouble.”
Officials say eight victims were secretly recorded aboard the yacht, including three minors.
During the investigation, authorities say they learned of at least 16 underage victims recorded by Hilliard over the course of eight to ten years.
The recordings were reportedly made at several locations throughout North and South Carolina, including aboard his yacht, inside his homes, various hotel rooms and other locations.
Investigators say he also secretly filmed victims hired as babysitters for his young children. The victims were reportedly filmed using multiple devices to produce multiple angles while they showered and changed.
Some of the victims were as young as five years old, according to court documents.
Hilliard is vice president and co-owner of Modern Polymers in Cherryville.