On June 25, 2020 in Asheville, NC William Hilliard, 51, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for secretly recording nude videos of underage females aboard his yacht. In addition to the prison term imposed, Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger also ordered Hilliard to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.
Hilliard was also ordered to pay $88,476 as restitution to five victims and a $5,000 special assessment fee.
Hilliard was arrested on June 11, 2018, by Myrtle Beach, South Carolina law enforcement officers 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. Law enforcement discovered that, over the course of eight to ten years, Hilliard had secretly produced multiple secret recordings of at least 16 child victims at various locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama, including aboard his yacht, in his homes, in various hotel rooms, and elsewhere.
At times, Hilliard produced secret recordings of victims he had hired as babysitters for his young children, and used multiple hidden devices to record his victims from different angles while they were using the shower and changing clothes. Some of the victims were as young as five years old.
Hilliard also engaged in sexual acts with one of the minor victims, which he secretly recorded. On April 22, 2019, Hilliard pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and
possession of child pornography.