Douglas County

Nurse spotted abusing 9-year-old with special needs on hidden camera in Douglas County

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — This week, a Douglas County jury found a man guilty of abusing a child with special needs

On March 24, 2021, Villa Rica police received a call from the parents of a nine-year-old special needs child, the victim in this case, reporting that the child had been abused by their caretaker, Richard Billstrom.

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Officers were informed that the 9-year-old was nonverbal and suffered from a congenital condition that required 24-hour care.

The parents initially noticed their daughter had been eating less than normal and they became concerned. The parents then set up a hidden camera to observe Billstrom’s care for their daughter.

Video footage showed Billstrom hitting the girl several times and pulling her hair.


Billstrom later told police these were “techniques” to help calm the child. The owner of the company he worked for told police that these were not calming techniques nor was the child in need of calming.

He was found guilty of cruelty to children in the first degree.

A date has not yet been set for sentencing.

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