Trumann man charged with raping girl multiple times

TRUMANN, Ark. — A 23-year-old man is charged with raping a girl on multiple occasions beginning when she was 12.

Trumann Police said the investigation began when the girl asked her mother about birth control. When the mother questioned her, she said a man her mother knew "made her do everything."

Montrell Lashun Hillard was transported back to Poinsett County from the Cook County Detention Center in Chicago to face rape charges.

Nicole Fanin is the Regional director of Youth Villages.

"There will be some type of lasting impact tied to suffering this type of abuse," Fanin said. "Children should be able to maintain that innocence."

Police say it began with text messages between Hillard and the girl in 2015, leading to a sexual encounter on a mattress in a shed.

Other encounters allegedly took place at the girl's mother's apartment, a motel in Memphis, and at houses in Tunica and Horn Lake, Mississippi.

The girl told investigators the encounters continued until she was 14. She said she didn't tell anyone because the man was violent.

Fanin says having uncomfortable discussions can help prevent situations like this but nothing is full proof.

"Bad things happen, and bad things happen to good parents. Even with the appropriate oversight there's no guarantee, but you have to have the dialogue," she said.

Hillard's bond is set at $250,000, and he's expected back in court in May.

He was arrested in Chicago, so the judge listed him as an extreme flight risk.