“This is the guy who groped three women in Logan Circle area two weeks ago.”

pain two

From MPD:

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit have announced an arrest has been made in connection with a Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse offense that occurred in the Third District.

On January 25, 2017, at approximately 2:00 am, the victim was walking in the 1600 block of 7th Street, Northwest, when the suspect groped her. The victim then called 911, and the suspect was apprehended a short distance away by responding officers.

Arrested was 57-year-old Michael Hilliard, of no fixed address. He was charged with Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse.”

“Dear PoPville,

This is the guy who groped three women in Logan Circle area two weeks ago. Judge Robert Morin ordered him released, and even turned down a request that he wear a GPS. Said he was homeless and couldn’t keep it charged. Of course Hilliard has a cell phone and manages to keep that charged. And Hilliard is arrested early Wednesday morning for another sexual assault on another woman.

At the hearing where he was released, his attorney referred to the sexual assaults as “misbehavior.” (See WaPo article.)

MPD keeps arresting this guy, and yet he keeps getting put back on the streets. Cathy Lanier was right when – going out the door – she said the District’s justice system is broken.

Half a million people marched Saturday for the safety and dignity of women, and yet we allow this to continue to happen on streets in our neighborhood – just blocks away from the march.”

Another reader asks:

“How many times do you need to assault a woman before you’re removed from the streets? Full disclosure–not strong in law, so I don’t know.

But where’s the justice? I believe Hilliard has a trial date set for his most recent trio of assault on the 2nd of February. I don’t know what power anyone has to get him off the streets, but I hope we can at least get his picture up so people know to steer clear of this fellow.”

35 Comment

  • This is truly upsetting

  • Is there a way to get a picture of him so we at least know what he looks like?

  • Correction: This is the guy who ALLEGEDLY groped three women. Innocent until proven guilty. The reader asked “where’s the justice?” before the trial even happens. This is a conversation for February.

    And stop hating on comments defense attorneys make. It’s their actual job to defend the accused.

    • I’ve been ordered to wear an anklet monitor and never had to keep it charged. I guess they’re fancier now?

    • Adding allegedly doesn’t change much. WaPo story says he has been convicted of similar sexual assaults more than 20 times. So he is innocent of three gropings until proven guilty, certainly, but there is no allegedly needed when describing him as a groper.

    • Yup, “allegedly”. But maybe he won’t allegedly continue his PROVEN repeated behavior of sexually assaulting women?

  • Does anyone know what it means “the system is broken”, especially regarding this guy’s case? Are prosecutors declining to charge him or the jurors not finding him guilty or the judges being too lenient?
    If he was caught before was he charged with something?

    • He was released pending the resolution of his case. However, you can hold someone pending trial if they pose a threat to society. Often, a person who is getting multiple separate charges will be held rather than released on their own personal recognizance (and, if sentenced, can receive credit for time they were held).

  • Here are phone numbers listed for Judge Morin´s office. Call him and let him know DC doesn’t deserve sexual predators continuously put back on the streets: (202)879-1600, (202)879-1310

    • A homeless guy randomly groping women is, perhaps unsurprisingly, documented as mentally ill. (You can see it in his court records online). The justice system seems broken to many people because the justice system is not designed to function as the primary source of mental health treatment for poor people. Yet it does function that way for a whole host of bad reasons. Getting this man some treatment is the best shot at ending his (alleged) conduct. Unless you are prepared to lock up sick poor people in prison for the rest of their lives (I’m sure some of you are), then they will eventually be released, even if locked up for years, and they will still be ill, they will still be living on the streets, and they will still commit crimes. Give them effective treatment, and they will stop.

      • @Anon I don’t think anyone here would object to mandated treatment to get this man the help that he clearly needs. The concern is that its evident he will continue violating women until he gets that treatment. Frankly, my concern is that he was released without any conditions when he is clearly likely to re-commit when left out on his own recognizance. I’d like for him to be held while he receives treatment so that he isn’t on the streets groping unsuspecting women.

        • This. Public safety is paramount. He is most clearly a sexual predator who must be taken off the streets to prevent future sexual attacks. He needs treatment, but we can’t risk future such attacks while he receives it.

        • What if he got treatment at a mental hospital instead of a prison. Prisons are not mental hospitals, they are dank, violent, depressing places and are ill-equipped to make sick people better.

      • The problem is how do you convince an adult to agree to treatment and comply with medication? Often the only time people are compliant is when they are being held involuntarily . I’ve tried for years to get a sibling the care she needs, but part of her illness (and that of many others) is to fight any treatment that threatens the alternate reality they have created. It’s nearly impossible to force people into care and we don’t just want to lock them up in the criminal justice system, so where does that leave us with someone like this who is a serial abuser? How do you get him treatment if he doesn’t want it without some form of detention?

        • “The problem is how do you convince an adult to agree to treatment and comply with medication? Often the only time people are compliant is when they are being held involuntarily .”

          You’ve already answered your own question. I understand the issue with mental illness, but that doesn’t absolve people from following the law, nor should it be an excuse for lazy judges to ignore the law.

          • EDIT: “…ignore the law or refuse to detain people who are an obvious menace to public safety.”

          • +1 to Patrick. @Anon for this : at this point Mr. Hilliard’s desire not to be detained should no longer be relevant. He is compromising the safety of other people and should be forcibly detained until he has gotten the help that he needs.

    • Andie302

      I tried both of these numbers and they didn’t work

    • Judges don’t answer to the people. They are supposed to rule based on the law. If the accused received harsher treatment every time a news story caught on, that would be terrible for society. Judge Morin has been around for a while; he knows what he’s doing. If you want to the law to change, call your city council members or the mayor.

  • I think one of the fundamental problems is that all of the sexual crimes that he has committed have been misdemeanors, and therefore he keeps getting treated leniently, despite the clear pattern. Seems that a legislative change would be in order, i.e., a defendant should be charged with a felony if he/she has been previously convicted of misdemeanor sexual abuse (repeatedly). Whatever the mental illness is, everyone is legitimately concerned that he will commit a more serious sexual crime after getting lenient sentences for misdemeanor sex offenses.

  • Update from the Post. He’s being detained until a preliminary hearing and was charged with a felony for latest assault. Good news.

    “A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered Michael Hilliard, 57, of no fixed address, detained until a preliminary hearing on Friday….
    In a break from past cases, prosecutors on Wednesday charged Hilliard with a felony, third-degree sexual abuse with force. That carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; the misdemeanor sex abuse charge he has previously been convicted of carries a maximum 180 days in jail.”

  • I wonder if a locally accountable prosecutor’s office would have handled these cases differently.

  • Coming so soon after the rape and murder of Tricia McCauley, this hurts even more. Another homeless person arrested, again let out (both without GPS monitoring), and once again tragic results. The system IS broken, and it’s not MPD’s fault.

  • It’s quite upsetting that this is a misdemeanor. Only encourages dangerous behavior.

  • For the DC residents, the answer is to contact your elected representative. I mean, enough outraged people got some traction for reform for a mistreated dog. We should not live in a city where people arrested repeatedly for violent or sexually based offenses are simply released back into the public. Look at the catch-and-release effect of the Youth Rehabilitation Act; the man who murdered Tricia McCauley should have been under GPS monitoring and was due for a mental health eval; this serial groper has over 20 convictions for sexual assault. It’s absurd.

    • Mental illness is the common thread. The problem is not that the criminal justice system is broken. The problem is that we don’t have a functioning system to deal with mental illness.

  • What would a GPS ankle bracelet do to deter him from re-offending? It would help place him at a location where a complaint was made (because it seems pretty clear he’s not going to stop this behavior) but this won’t stop him.

  • Honorable Robert Morin is Chief Judge of DC Superior Court. Phone number is 879-1607.

    I just now called the judge’s office to convey my concern that his decision to allow this molester to go back on the street without consequences or accountability has put women on the street in harm’s way.

    I was unable to talk to him personally but I received the following address to write a letter:

    Judge Robert Morin
    DC Superior Court
    500 Indiana Ave. NW,
    Washington, DC 20001

    Feel free to follow up with calls and letters.

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