Fireman guilty of indecent exposure

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By AMY LINDBLOM

In a trial before a judge, a former Tuolumne County volunteer firefighter was convicted Friday of two counts of indecent exposure.

In December, when Keith Hillier, 44, of Soulsbyville is sentenced, he could face a year in the county jail for the misdemeanor counts.

Hillier exposed himself to patrons of a car wash across the street from the Mono Vista Drive volunteer firehouse, according to trial testimony.

Hillier, who left the Tuolumne County Fire Department after the charges were filed against him, was a volunteer for nine years and had worked his way up to the rank of lieutenant.

"If he hadn't resigned, we would have taken appropriate measures to make sure he was not a risk to the public," said Assistant Tuolumne County Fire Warden Mike Noonan.

Hillier also worked for Suburban Propane at the time of the incidents, installing and servicing propane tanks. He no longer works for Suburban, said a company spokeswoman.

Tuolumne County Assistant District Attorney Michael Knowles presented four witnesses Friday three women and one man. Each testified in detail about seeing a man fondling himself on four separate occasions between July and October 2002.

Three of the four identified Hillier as that man.

However, one woman didn't get a look at the man's face, and Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge Doug Boyack also dismissed the charge that involved the male witness because the judge questioned whether Hillier was actually trying to bring attention to himself in that case.

But Hillier was found guilty of two counts based on testimony of two women who said they saw him in his Suburban Propane uniform on July 8, 2002, and Aug. 12, 2002 while they were at a coin-operated car wash across the street from the firehouse.

The firehouse is only manned during emergencies, and Hillier's supervisor at the propane company, Gerald Bergevin, told the court he knew Hillier sometimes stopped at the firehouse on his lunch hours.

11511894
The Union Democrat
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