A man arrested and charged with groping three women last week in different areas of Northwest Washington has been convicted of similar sexual offenses at least 20 times since the early 1990s, according to D.C. police and court records.
Michael Hilliard, 57, of no fixed address, was arrested about 10:40 p.m. Friday. He was charged with three counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse and was released from jail. He has a court hearing Feb. 2.
Police said two of the most recent sexual assaults occurred Jan. 11. The first happened about 8:20 a.m. in the 1900 block of 15th Street NW, near the U Street corridor. The second was at 5 p.m. in Logan Circle. Authorities said another attack occurred Thursday about 8 a.m. in the 1300 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW, one block from Thomas Circle.
In each case, police said a man approached a woman and grabbed her in an sexually inappropriate place.
Court records show that Hilliard has been convicted at least 20 times since 1991 of misdemeanor sexual abuse, most for inappropriately touching random women. In most of the cases, he was sentenced to 180 days in jail, the maximum penalty. He also has been screened for mental illness, the records show.
Hilliard has been convicted of at least a half-dozen other misdemeanor crimes as well, including assaulting a police officer, unlawful entry and escaping confinement.
His latest convictions include a 2016 conviction of misdemeanor sexual assault after he inappropriately touched a woman who was sitting next to him at a bus stop in the 1900 block of Massachusetts Avenue NE. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
In 2014, police said Hilliard sexually assaulted a nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center while he was being treated. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
Hilliard’s attorney in his pending case, David Akulian, said his client has asserted his innocence. Akulian would not comment on the specifics of the charges but said: “Often times in cases like this, there is a mental-health issue. I think we as a society have to make sure we are taking care of those who are most vulnerable, despite the fact they may misbehave from time to time.”