Local News

Bond set for Cheney woman accused of abusing child for others to watch

SPOKANE, Wash. - A woman accused of sexually abusing a child online for others to watch is being held in the Spokane County Jail on bond.

Court documents say on April 24, Cheney police arrested 40-year-old Hilda Emerson. Cheney police had received information earlier that month from an inmate in Minnesota that Emerson had been sexually abusing a young child for him to watch. 

The inmate, Bryan Hogle, said that Emerson had performed the abuse via Facetime starting in the beginning of 2016. The two had found each other via an ad on Craigslist. Emerson and Hogle communicated using Kik Messenger and Facetime.

Hogle has a lengthy criminal history and police have identified him as a sexual predator. His history dates back to 2003 and covers Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York and Nevada. According to court documents, most of his criminal history is sexual in nature. 

Police seized Hogle's phone and a forensic investigation found a number for "Hilda" in Washington.

Hogle says the Kik interactions happened until June 2016, while Emerson was living in Wenatchee. But, in September of last year, while living in Cheney, Hogle says Emerson contacted him. He says she told him he could do anything he wanted with the child in exchange for $2,000.

Court documents say Cheney police got a warrant to search Emerson's home. CPS was involved and her children were removed from the home. 

According to those documents, when police began questioning her about her relationship with Hogle and whether she had a Kik account, she said she could not answer questions due to a disability which interferes with her ability to process information. 

Police seized Emerson's phones, a camera and a computer; police have obtained a search warrant for those devices. 

The same day that police searched Emerson's home, she tried to die by suicide that evening. She was taken to Sacred Heart in serious condition. Four days later, when she had recovered, police made their arrest. 

Emerson was listed with booking charges of first degree rape of a child, first degree child molestation, dealing child pornography, child pornography possession and first degree sexual misconduct with a minor. However, since the video interactions appear to have occurred in Wenatchee, outside Spokane County, Emerson is charged with one count of promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor, related to her offer to Hogle.  

In court Tuesday, a judge set her bond at $50,000.