The Los Angeles Times has reported that 63-year-old millionaire Bill Hutchinson was arrested in July following accusations that he sexually assaulted a minor in his care.
Bill Hutchinson is a real estate developer from the Dallas area. He is known for founding the company Dunhill Partners, Inc., with whom he was previously the president before stepping down amid allegations of sexual assault. The real estate firm is responsible for many developments across the country, namely the Virgin Hotels Dallas, for which he is the co-owner alongside Richard Branson. Hutchinson recently premiered in a reality television show called "Marrying Millions," He starred with his fiance, who was 40 years younger than him. Hutchinson had stated that their relationship began when she was 18 years old.
The first victim to come forward was only 16 years old when the abuse started. She was friends with his 15-year-old step-daughters when she opted to move in with the family at their Highlands Park, Texas residence. Her parents were moving, and in order for her to remain in the same school district, they agreed for her to stay in his care. Hutchinson treated the victim to many vacations at his other home in Laguna Beach in addition to trips to Arizona and Miami. These trips were said to be funded by his Dunhill Partners company. The victim alleges that the hotel staff would supply alcohol and marijuana to the minors at the direction of Hutchinson during these trips.
The abuse on the first victim began during one of these trips to Laguna Beach, with inappropriate massaging of her feet while in a hot tub, to him rubbing her feet against his groin. She alleged that she woke up to the suspect rubbing himself against her while only wearing a robe one morning. Eventually, despite her attempts to tell him she was not alright with the sexual advances, she awoke to him raping her. The abuse continued even after they returned to the residence in Highlands Park. On the next opportunity in May, she backed out of a trip to Laguna Beach, claiming to be ill.
In her absence, another minor accompanied Hutchinson on the trip to Laguna Beach and came back alleging he had sexually abused her.
Hutchinson was arrested in July and charged with one count of sexual assault against the first victim. He was released on bail of only $30,000.
The second victim, along with the return of the first, came forward only days later, increasing the charges to one felony count of rape and five misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. His bail was increased to $100,000 following his plea of not guilty.
Hutchinson has additional claims against him in Dallas, Texas.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, has represented numerous victims of sexual assaults in civil lawsuits in the state of California. During an interview, Bobby provided the following insight on the rights of victims sexually assaulted in a hotel.
“It is every hotel’s legal responsibility to exercise due care when protecting its guests and employees from sexual misconduct. Owners and management should do all they can to provide a safe environment. Some security measures they can implement can include proper lighting, patrolling security guards, security cameras, and training staff to recognize the signs of abuse. Hotel owners and management should offer training for staff on how to report it properly to law enforcement. Failure to offer this level of security can result in the hotel owner or management being found liable for such sexual crime on the premises."
"However, in some situations, the abuse can fall on the neglect of management if they knew of the incident but failed to report it. Many times the abuse comes from within the administration, and a blind eye is turned. Predators will gain employment in positions of power in order to exploit their victims. Victims should question if management followed the proper policies in the event of abuse and alerted law enforcement. This failure could hold the hotel owners and management liable in a lawsuit. Victims are encouraged to obtain counsel from an experienced sexual assault lawyer to determine if the hotel was negligent in some cases, financial compensation can be due to the victim and their family."