Minnesota Casino Child Sex Incident Leads to Prison Term for Ex-Cop

Posted on: July 20, 2022, 01:05h. 

Last updated on: July 21, 2022, 12:00h.

A former Canadian police officer was sentenced Tuesday to spend 10 years in prison for his alleged sexual contact with two children at Minnesota’s Fortune Bay Resort and Casino. Both victims were under 12 at the time.

US District Court Judge John R. Tunheim
US District Court Judge John R. Tunheim, pictured above. The judge sentenced a defendant to a decade in prison. The defendant allegedly had sexual contact with two minors at a Minnesota casino. (Image: Wikiipedia)

Brady John Hillis, 33, who resided in Canada, was sentenced to 120 months in prison by Minnesota US District Court Judge John R. Tunheim. Upon his release from custody, Hillis will be under supervised release for ten years, Minnesota US Attorney Andrew M. Luger said in a statement.

On June 22, 2018, Hillis was seen in Fortune Bay’s security surveillance video engaging in sexual contact with the children, prosecutors claimed.

On Jan. 18, Hillis pleaded guilty to two counts of abusive sexual contact with a child under 12 years of age, Luger said. The victims, like Hillis, were guests at the casino’s resort, TB News, a Canadian news organization, reported.

Judge Tunheim is a former Minnesota state solicitor general and a former chief deputy state attorney general.

Hillis Tried to Stay in Canada

Earlier, Hillis was turned down by a Canadian judge and later Canadian appeal judges when appealing extradition to the US to face the charges, TB News said.

Hillis formerly was a police officer in Ontario, KSTP, a local TV station, reported. Before pleading guilty, Hillis was put on paid suspension from his job with the Ontario Provincial Police, TB News said. In January, he officially quit his job.

The casino is located on the Bois Forte Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota’s Koochiching County. It is south of the Canadian border.

Pennsylvania Arrest

In November, a 65-year-old man appeared in court for allegedly sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl outside Pennsylvania’s Mohegan Sun Pocono casino. The attack took place in 2016.

Police said Mateo Mejia of Scranton, Pa. admitted to the assault while questioned by authorities. The girl recently informed police about the assault, the Citizens’ Voice, a Pennsylvania newspaper, reported.

While in a parked car at the Wilkes-Barre gaming property, he allegedly placed his hand up her leggings, exposed himself, and forced her to touch his genitals, police said. Mejia was arraigned on charges of corruption of a minor, indecent exposure, and indecent assault of a minor, according to PennLive, a regional news site.

The victim’s relative was in the casino gambling while the attack occurred.

The relative had arranged with the girl’s mother to babysit the child. Then it was decided that Mejia was to watch the girl in a car while the relative gambled. The girl’s mother was at work.

Mejia claimed the girl was “curious” about sexual contact, according to court documents quoted by PennLive. It appears the case is still pending in court.

In another incident, a sexual assault of an apparently unconscious woman in a Bethlehem, Pa. casino bathroom in 2020 led to the alleged assailant getting sentenced to six months to a year in prison.

Traver Tilley, 31, of Bethlehem Township, was sentenced for assaulting the victim in March 2020. It took place in a woman’s lavatory near the Vision Nightclub in the former Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, according to Lehighvalleylive.com, a regional news site.