Cheney woman accused of molesting child on camera
CHENEY, Wash — A Cheney woman is in the Spokane County Jail on the charge of Promoting the Commercial Sex Abuse of a Minor. Court documents say a convicted sexual predator tipped off investigators to her alleged behavior.
Cheney Police received a tip in early April through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. According to court records, an investigation began in 2017 when two men were arrested in Minnesota. Court records say the men had been communicating through the app KIK and one of the men had offered the other the opportunity to have sex with his 14-month old daughter. Investigators say one man traveled to Minnesota for that purpose and they were arrested.
When questioning one of the men, Bryan Hogle, he told investigators about a woman he’d been communicating with in Washington. He said he would give information about that case and give investigators access to his cell phone in exchange for consideration at his sentencing.
Hogle told investigators he met the woman, identified in court documents as Hilda Emerson, through an ad on Craigslist. He said the two would communicate on Facetime and KIK in one of those KIK sessions, Emerson molested a young child on camera. According to the informant, this was happening in the summer of 2016.
Investigators describe finding “lengthy conversations” between Hogle and Emerson on Hogle’s phone.
Investigators say in one conversation, Emerson asked Hogle for money to pay her rent. Hogle said she offered him a child to abuse in exchange for two thousand dollars. Investigators don’t believe that transaction ever took place.
Investigators used a cell phone number to track down Emerson, who had lived in Wenatchee at the time of the conversations. She has since moved to Cheney. Investigators found a past child welfare complaint in which a child complained Emerson was physically abusive. According to the court documents, “At the time, there were no marks to corroborate the claim.”
CPS later disclosed Emerson lost custody of two children in 2010.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for Emerson’s home and storage units. They seized a computer, two cell phones and a camera.
Emerson was booked into the Spokane County Jail on April 24th under the charge of Promoting Commercial Sex Abuse of a Minor.
Cheney Police Captain Richard Beghtol told kxly4 News Thursday investigators need to determine which county any crimes took place as they consider charges. Captain Beghtol said they have searched her electronic devices and that the investigation is ongoing.
Investigators told kxly4 News Emerson’s two children are in protective custody.
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