Atlanta, GA: A man has been found guilty by a Douglas County jury for the abuse of a child with special needs.
Authorities in Villa Rica were alerted on March 24, 2021, by the parents of a nine-year-old special needs child. The parents reported that their child, who was the victim in this case, had suffered abuse at the hands of their caretaker, Richard Billstrom.
Officers received information that the 9-year-old had difficulty speaking and had a congenital condition that necessitated round-the-clock care.
The parents became worried when they noticed their daughter’s decreased appetite. The parents decided to install a concealed camera to monitor Billstrom’s care of their daughter.
Video footage captured an incident where Billstrom was seen physically assaulting the girl, striking her multiple times and forcefully pulling her hair.
According to Billstrom, he explained to the police that these were methods he used to soothe the child. The owner of the company he worked for informed the police that these techniques were not intended to calm the child and that the child did not require calming.
He has been convicted of a severe offense involving harm to children. The sentencing date has not been determined yet.