Suspect in DC assault on pregnant woman has 70-plus arrests

The man charged with simple assault for pushing an 8-and-a-half-month-old pregnant woman in the stomach on a D.C. sidewalk has been arrested more than 70 times, including 20 sexual assault cases.

Michael Hilliard, 59, of no known address allegedly approached the woman, who was standing near the corner of 14th St. NW and P St. NW, at approximately 9 a.m., Sunday morning.

According to charging documents, Hilliard “began jostling around her body area,” and “pushed [the woman] about the stomach area with medium force and open hands.”

While describing the incident to a responding D.C. police officer, the woman said “that’s him right there,” and pointed to Hilliard, who was taken into custody.

Tuesday, Hilliard pleaded not guilty during his arraignment, was released, and ordered to stay away from the victim.

Hilliard has dozens of similar arrests, according to NBC Washington.

In 2017, as police were looking for Hilliard in connection with groping cases, Lt. John Haines said Hilliard had a long rap sheet.

“This individual has been committing these kinds of offenses for more than two decades,” said Haines. “He has more than 70 arrests, 20 or more which are for sexual offenses.”

Haines said the problem of defendants being released and committing similar crimes was “extremely frustrating” for police.

“We’re doing our part, trying to protect the community, trying to keep people from reoffending, and committing these kinds of crimes. Then literally, Friday someone’s arrested, then Saturday morning they’re back out and recommitting (crimes) within a day or two,” said Haines.

WTOP has requested comment from D.C. police chief Peter Newsham, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Hilliard’s appointed attorney, Brian Shefferman, declined comment.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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