BENTON, La. (KSLA) - Bossier sheriff’s detectives booked 47-year-old Daniel Eugene Hedrick into Bossier Maximum-Security Facility in October on a host of charges, including several alleged sex crimes involving children.
The most shocking allegation, according to the Sheriff’s Office, was that Hedrick raped a preteen girl and molested two others prior to his arrest.
With Hedrick locked up and his bail set a $2.95 million, Bossier sheriff’s Lt. Bill Davis stressed that he “cannot harm these girls any longer.”
But as it turns out, that high bond didn’t keep Hedrick behind bars for long.
Three months after Hedrick’s arrest, his lawyer asked the court to drop bail to $400,000, a cash bond Hedrick could afford to pay.
And when Bossier Parish District Attorney Schuyler Marvin agreed to sign off on the bond reduction, Hedrick walked free.
A move that angered the father of one of Hedrick’s alleged victims.
“I thought justice was supposed to be fair and equal,” the upset father said. “I don’t see how just because you have money, it allows you to lower your bond and walk free.”
To protect his girl, we’re concealing the father’s identity.
But, according to his side of the story, Hedrick is out of jail because the Bossier-Webster district attorney’s office won’t get tough with a suspected child sex predator who is flush with cash.
“The justice system is about who you know and how much you have in your pocket,” the father said.
At the time of his arrest in October, the charges against Hedrick included five alleged drug crimes, illegal possession of a firearm, molesting two preteen girls, indecent behavior with a juvenile and rape.
The father, who spoke exclusively with KSLA Investigates, says he had no idea his daughter was being sexually abused for years until she finally moved in with him and felt safe enough to come forward.
“Started at seven and lasted until she was roughly 14 years of age, or 15 years of age,” the father said.
Furious with Hedrick, “I wish I had five minutes alone with him.”
This father’s anger is now moving toward the district attorney’s office, whom he says never contacted him about the possibility of Hedrick’s bond getting lowered.
“Well, I didn’t understand how it could [get lowered]. I mean the reason his bond was set high is because he was labeled a flight risk,” the father said.
The district attorney’s office declined KSLA Investigates’ interview request.
But in an email, that office explained the lowering of Hedrick’s bond by saying first, a commercial bail bond company “probably” would’ve gotten Hedrick out of jail anyway. Second, he might have a valid defense to the drug and firearm charges, and, third, Hedrick has no criminal record.
But for the man whose daughter Hedrick allegedly raped, that explanation doesn’t hold water.
“Absolutely not,” the father said, pointing out that Hedrick’s got a history with police, including earlier drug charges from 2018 that are still pending; a 2015 arrest on charges of public intimidation, resisting an officer and criminal trespass at a Bossier City casino; and another arrest in 2015 on a charge of cruelty to a juvenile, according to the Bossier Parish clerk of court’s office.
While that final charge got dismissed, this father says when Hedrick made bail, his daughter suffered new fears of panic and anxiety because Hedrick still lives nearby.
“There’s been times since he’s been bonded out that she’s actually passed him on the road.”
And this father says he continues to take every possible step to try to make his daughter feel safe.
“I ended up going to my daughter’s work for approximately two months. And I would sit outside of her work and watch her walk to her car and make sure she got out of there safely.”
Last month, Hedrick’s freedom on the streets of Bossier Parish looked short-lived when prosecutors filed new sex crime charges against him.
Those included two child pornography charges and one count of sexual abuse of an animal.
Hedrick’s bond this time, almost a half million dollars.
But he didn’t spend much time in jail because his bail got dropped again, this time to $50,000.
Court records show Hedrick handing over the cash and, for the second time in three months, walking out of jail a free man.
“He’s a free man,” said the father. “Now I have to worry about my daughter running into him at a Wal-mart, at a gas station or him coming to her work.”
While Hedrick’s trial on the drug and sex crime charges is set for December, this dad says, so far, the district attorney has kept him in the dark about the case, leaving him without answers, he says, for whenever his daughter asks if she’s now safe from the man who allegedly raped her.
“A father’s job is to protect his family, his daughter, his children. That’s a father’s job,” the father said. “And I feel like that opportunity was taken away from me.”