According to Detective Casey Hill of Patterson Police Services, the 14-year-old victim was getting ready for school when the suspect, 35-year-old Clarence Hildreth III, manipulated the lock to get into the bathroom. It was reported by the victim that Hildreth grabbed her by the throat, wrestled her to the ground and attempted to disrobe her, Hill said.
Although she was pinned by a man over twice her age, the victim was able to “squirm away” and call 911 for assistance at roughly 6:45 a.m., said Hill. An investigation began immediately thereafter, and it was soon discovered that the attacker was someone the victim knew intimately.
Hildreth not only knew the victim but was a boyfriend to the victim’s cousin. He frequently stayed with the victim’s family when he was not in the Bay Area.
“This was an isolated incident,” recounted Hill on Thursday afternoon, April 3. “The suspect knew the victim and it was not a random act of violence.”
Hildreth escaped the scene before help could arrive, but due to his relationship with the family, detectives within Patterson Police Services were able to contact the suspect by his phone number.
“It was a combined effort amongst all the detectives in the Patterson office to convince him to come in,” said Hill Thursday afternoon. “Ultimately, he chose to turn himself in.”
Hildreth arrived at the Patterson Police station at roughly 4:30 p.m. on April 1, and has since been charged with attempted rape and lewd acts with a child. His bail is currently set at $150,000 according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s online custody report.
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.