FISHERS, Ind. – A former Goodwill employee has been formally charged with 34 counts of child exploitation, possession of child pornography, voyeurism, and public voyeurism.
The slew of criminal charges comes months after Call 6 Investigates raised questions about Ritchie Hodges allegedly recording employees in the bathroom at the Goodwill store located at 7440 Fishers Station Drive, near 116th and Allisonville Road.
Hodges was arrested on February 6 on preliminary charges of voyeurism, according to Sgt. Tom Weger with Fishers Police.
He's due in court on June 20 for his initial hearing.
Call 6 Investigates spoke with Hodges following his arrest, and he said he did it to get back at Goodwill for failing to address what he called “lazy employees.”
“I’m sorry,” said Hodges. “I was trying to even things out which was the wrong thing to do. I’m sorry for the people who got caught up in my irritation.”
Hodges said following his release from prison, his son was killed in a motorcycle crash and he was no longer allowed to attend his church as a registered sex offender.
“I really feel bad for other people getting involved,” said Hodges. “It’s what happens when you get isolated and you don’t have your support group. It just gets out of control. I tried to do the right thing and nothing ever changed.”
Records show Hodges is a registered sex offender with convictions for voyeurism and child pornography.
Call 6 Investigates found Hodges served time in prison from October 2012 to December 2014, and was released from Indiana Department of Correction monitoring on December 7, 2015, records show.
“You just don’t expect something like this to happen,” Beard said. “I know Goodwill hires felons, but I didn’t expect them to hire someone with this kind of record. It’s really upsetting.”
Adrianna’s mom said Goodwill should have kept a closer eye on Hodges.
“If he was a bank robber, would they let him work there?” said Nicole Byers, Adrianna’s mother. “Would they double check to make sure he’s not robbing Goodwill?”
Beard and her mother have hired local personal injury attorney Dan Chamberlain.
“Just talking to Adrianna, she really wants to make sure they do something and they’re held accountable for what happened,” Byers said.
Chamberlain told Call 6 Investigates there are possibly 18 victims, and half a dozen have already contacted his office.
"Goodwill clearly violated their duty to their employees and to the volunteers and to the other people who use Goodwill to donate items and shop,” Chamberlain said. “It's a violation of trust and you can't get that back. It’s sickening."
Chamberlain said every employer has a duty to be diligent and to monitor and supervise employees.
“You owe it to your employees and when you don’t do that you violate their trust,” Chamberlain said. “Goodwill failed.”
Chamberlain said one client involved in the Goodwill case came to his office and was afraid to use the restroom.
“She asked me to go into the women’s restroom and check to make sure there were no cameras,” Chamberlain said.
As for Beard, she quit her job at Goodwill and said there’s no reason to believe the videos were shared publicly.
However, she still has anxiety about using the bathroom.
"At school sometimes, I will check and make sure no one is watching me,” Beard said.
A spokesperson for Goodwill said Hodges is no longer an employee with the company.
“As soon as Goodwill was made aware of allegations of an incident that occurred at our Allisonville Road store, the Fishers Police Department was contacted,” read a statement provided to Call 6 Investigates provided this spring. “This is currently an ongoing investigation being coordinated by the Fishers Police Department and the Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force. The safety and well-being of our current employees, clients and customers is paramount.”
Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is reviewing its employment and retail policies and procedures.
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