News Channel 25 reported in late April about Thomas Hilliard, who was sentenced to eight life terms in prison for sexually abusing a young girl, continually over several years. But police say someone else knew about the sexual abuse and never reported it. Sixty-four year old Geneva Hilliard was arrested Wednesday night for abandoning and endangering a child.
According to the arrest warrant, Hilliard was told by the victim about the abuse but Hilliard told the young girl, to quote, “shut up and not tell anyone.” To make matters worse, police say the victim was still exposed to Thomas Hilliard who was abusing her.
Waco Police Detective Kim Clark says unfortunately this happens a lot in child sexual abuse cases. Many times adults don’t want to believe the abuse is occurring. But she says by not telling you become part of the crime.
“Even if you don’t believe the child, you have to report it because children give little bits and pieces to get people’s reaction. You may not get the whole story until somebody starts believing them. If no one gives them the opportunity to speak then they’ll remain quiet and it will continue to happen,” said Clark.
Thomas Hilliard is serving his eight life terms while Geneva Hilliard bonded out of the McLennan County Jail Thursday morning.