NOLA.com relays the latest legal details in the legal proceedings against (former) reality television star and (former) celebrity gun company owner Will Hayden:
Bail has been increased to $350,000 for Will Hayden, the founder of Red Jacket Firearms in Baton Rouge and the star of “Sons of Guns,” a now-canceled reality TV short on Discovery Channel.
Hayden, who is being held at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, was booked on additional count of forcible rape on Monday for the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl that occurred nearly 22 years ago in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Hayden was booked on aggravated rape on Aug. 26, in which he’s accused of raping a 12-year-old girl that allegedly started in March 2013.
The victim from 22 years ago came forward when Hayden’s arrest was made public and told authorities that she was raped by Hayden while staying with his family at their apartment on Cedarcreat Avenue when she was 12-years-old.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office brought similar charges against Hayden on Sept. 5. Hayden was booked with one count of aggravated rape and indecent behavior with a juvenile. The aggravated rape charge stems from an incident in March 2013 involving a girl who was 11-years-old at the time.
According to sources close to the Hayden and Ford families, the investigation of the Livingston Parish case began when Will Hayden’s then personal assistant allegedly saw and reported an “inappropriate kiss” between Hayden and the 11-year-old who is the first alleged victim. Some had posited that the initial allegations were the result of allegations from Hayden’s estranged spouse, which appears to be factually incorrect.
Stephanie Hayden Ford, Will Hayden’s older daughter, is allegedly going to publicly reveal allegations against him today in a televised appearance that she said she hopes will help other victims of sexual abuse to come forward. She stated in a press release:
“I decided to appear on Dr. Phil to tell my story exclusively because I know he would take it seriously. With my father now in jail, everyone in my family and in our company are now talking openly for the first time. I have nothing to gain from this exclusive interview, but to begin living in truth and getting help for myself and my sister. I just pray that our story will somehow prevent another victim from staying silent.”
Accounted cited yesterday asserting a fourth victim may have been incorrect, and the fourth set of charges appears to be the charges filed in the two parishes by one of the victims.
Prior to the allegations against Hayden, Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns” was one of its most successful programs, and it was also one of the first firearm-themed reality television shows.