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By Alex Bridges - firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- A violent sex offender from Strasburg violated probation by groping a teen girl near the Shenandoah County town less than two years after serving time for a sex crime against a child.
Substitute Judge Benjamin Kendrick ordered David McDowell Hillyard, 35, of 608 Branch St., on Thursday in Frederick County Circuit Court to serve 13 years in prison for violating the terms of his supervised release. The time runs in addition to the 10 years Hillyard must serve for committing aggravated sexual battery on a 14-year-old girl while she worked at a fruit stand in the 28000 block of Old Valley Pike on July 25.
Judge Dennis L. Hupp sentenced Hillyard on May 4 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court to 20 years in prison for the July 25 sex crime. Hupp suspended half of the prison term.
Assistant Frederick County Commonwealth's Attorney C. Todd Gilbert asked Kendrick to revoke all of the probationer's suspended time on his earlier conviction.
"He is nevertheless a full-blown threat to society, when he is in society," Gilbert argued. "Short of him being insane, which he is not, he's just as accountable as anybody."
Hillyard's attorney, William Crane, told the court he suspects the Virginia attorney general's office may seek to have the man committed to a facility for violent sexual predators. Crane asked the court for leniency in revoking the suspended time.
Hillyard's father, David, testified on his son's behalf.
"He's a baby himself," the father said. "He wouldn't hurt a flea."
The father noted his son had been living with a 43-year-old woman until authorities told him he could not. Hillyard attended sex offender classes as instructed by the probation office but, as the father testified, the material was "over his head."
Crane told the court his client changed his mind and decided not to testify Thursday.
Hillyard's probation officer, Brandon Daisy, testified in the Frederick County court that the defendant met the 14-year-old female victim at the fruit stand on July 24 and talked to her. The probationer returned the next day and, after the two talked, asked the girl if he could hug her, the officer testified. As he hugged the girl, Hillyard began groping her breasts, buttocks and vaginal area on the outside of her clothes, Daisy said. The girl told her mother who then reported the crime to law enforcement, the officer said.
Daisy told the court Hillyard processes information slower than some people.
"He can discern the difference between right and wrong," Daisy said. "He said he was sorry that he did it."
The prosecutor noted, and the officer confirmed, that Hillyard committed a violation shortly after his release from prison by coming in contact with a 16-year-old female neighbor. Hillyard was forbidden from having unsupervised contact with a child under 18.
A judge in Frederick County Circuit Court sentenced Hillyard on Sept. 6, 2002, to 20 years in a state penitentiary for forcible sodomy on a 4-year-old child in May 2001. The court dismissed two counts of aggravated sexual battery before sentencing at the request of the commonwealth. The judge suspended 13 years of the term and ordered Hillyard to serve three years of supervised probation upon his release. On the same date, Hillyard received a two-year prison term, all suspended, for making a false statement on a form to buy a firearm.
On Aug. 14, 2009, a judge in Frederick County Circuit Court revoked six months of Hillyard's suspended term for the firearm charge. Court records show the judge at the same hearing found Hillyard violated his probation but did not impose any of the suspended time in the sodomy conviction.
Hupp on May 4 ordered Hillyard to serve 20 years of probation, the first five supervised. Hillyard must have no unsupervised contact with minor females or use of a computer
Kendrick also revoked the remaining one year and six months of the suspended term in the firearm case on Thursday.
Gilbert said Hillyard's revoked time would run consecutively to, and not concurrently with, the prison term Hupp imposed last week.