A Raleigh man convicted of indecent exposure nine times avoided prison by admitting he exposed himself while watching a group of young cheerleaders in Cary.
Joseph Michael Hilliard pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony indecent exposure while in the presence of a minor. Prosecutors say Hilliard was caught masturbating as he watched 5- to 10-year-old girls in a parking lot.
Hilliard was given three years probation, and ordered to register as a sex offender and attend therapy. He could have received 10 months in prison.
The charge was his first felony count. Most of the eight previous convictions occurred before a 2005 law made it a felony to expose oneself in front of children.
According to court records and media reports, many of Hilliard's
victims have been children in bookstores, the children's section of a public library and other places.