A 33-year-old Weld County deputy accused of having sex with an inmate in May 2021 will appear for a sentencing hearing in March after entering a guilty plea deal.
Jason Hillyer, 33, virtually attended a pre-trial readiness conference Tuesday afternoon with his defense attorney, Stephanie Stout. Hillyer pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual assault, as well as an added count of third-degree assault.
Surveillance Footage Showed Hillyer Enter Bathroom with Inmate Several Times
In September, Hillyer entered a not-guilty plea deal to four counts of unlawful sexual assault. His four-day, speedy trial was expected to begin Jan. 17 but will no longer take place. With the guilty plea, Hillyer is required to register as a sex offender and undergo a sexual offense evaluation.
Allegations that Hillyer had sex with a woman inmate in May 2021 surfaced on June 29, 2021. Investigators began reviewing jail footage of the alleged incident date from Unit 11 at the Weld County Jail â capturing Hillyer and the victim going in and out of the bathroom together on multiple occasions.
A witness housed with the victim told detectives that the victim said, "It happened," before sharing she performed oral sex on Hillyer in the shower. The victim also indicated to the witness that Hillyer told her to stay in the shower so people wouldn't expect anything. The night prior to the assault, Hillyer supervised their unit, according to the witness. She said he also acted differently around the victim.
Detectives also spoke with the victim, who said she never met Hillyer until the night he worked in her unit. When she went into the bathroom, he followed her with soap, she said. Later that evening, Hillyer stopped by her cell and gave her a look suggesting she go into the bathroom with him.
Victim Said She Listened to Hillyer Because of His 'Deputy Status'
Hillyer then told the victim to wait in the shower. She told detectives she listened to his commands because of his deputy status. Hillyer left and returned to the bathroom multiple times, video surveillance showed. The inmate said Hillyer came into her stall, kissed her and told her to perform oral sex on him â commands she complied with.
During her interview with law enforcement, the victim indicated feeling uncomfortable and scared about the incident. She didn't know what Hillyer wanted and felt afraid it would come back at her, according to the victim's remarks.
Hillyer told investigators he did not remember the victim and denied all allegations. When questioned about the incident, he referred to the woman as a "child" multiple times and claimed he would never touch an inmate.
He received paid administrative leave up until his arrest on July 8. Once he was booked, he was placed on unpaid leave as the process of appealing his termination began.The Weld County Sheriff's Office formally fired him Sept. 15, 2021, according to a spokesperson from the agency.
Hillyer was released from the Weld County Jail after posting a $100,000 bond on July 9, 2021. His sentencing hearing is set for 9 a.m. March 23 in Weld District Court.