The “Sons of Guns” reality television show star arrested earlier this month on accusations of molestation of a juvenile landed back in jail Tuesday, accused of raping the same girl on multiple occasions prior to his initial arrest.
William Hayden, who until Tuesday owned Red Jacket Firearms LLC, a Baton Rouge gun shop that is the setting for the Discovery Channel reality show, was arrested about 3 p.m. by U.S. marshals in Livingston Parish. The authorities picked him up on an arrest warrant issued by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to the warrant, Hayden, 49, is accused of raping a girl numerous times between March 2013 and July 2014. The girl did not disclose the alleged rapes when questioned by detectives earlier this month because she feared retaliation from Hayden , the warrant says.
An attempt to reach Hayden’s attorney, C. Frank Holthaus, was unsuccessful late Tuesday.
Red Jacket Firearms LLC released a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday evening saying the company had legally separated from Hayden, its founder.
“We will continue to operate, although with heavy hearts,” the statement says, “and promise to do everything in our power to fill customer orders, back orders and provide support to those affected by these new developments.”
Marshals followed Hayden along Florida Boulevard on Tuesday armed with the arrest warrant in East Baton Rouge Parish, waiting until the time was right to initiate a traffic stop and arrest him, which occurred just after he crossed into Livingston Parish, U.S. Marshal Kevin Harrison said.
The authorities booked Hayden into the Livingston Parish Detention Center before transferring him to East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. There, he was booked on one count of aggravated rape, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Hayden’s new bail was set at $250,000, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.
The arrest comes less than three weeks after deputies arrested Hayden and booked him into the Parish Prison on counts of molestation of a juvenile and aggravated crimes against nature. A woman told deputies she saw Hayden inappropriately kissing the girl while he was naked inside his Greenwell Springs Road home, according to the initial arrest warrant.
Following that arrest, Hayden posted a $150,000 bail and was released. A statement released by Red Jacket Firearms at the time defended Hayden, describing the allegations as “false charges” made by “an angry woman who Will has recently ended his relationship with.”
Holthaus, Hayden’s attorney, has said the relationship between Hayden and the woman was not romantic but strictly professional.
“Sons of Guns” followed Hayden and several other people involved in manufacturing and selling custom-made guns at the shop just north of South Choctaw Drive near Monterrey Boulevard in Baton Rouge. The show’s first season aired in 2011. The show’s most recent episode, part of its fifth season, aired in early May, according to the Discovery Channel’s website.
The show’s future was unclear Tuesday night. A Discovery Channel spokeswoman, Laurie Goldberg, declined to comment on the matter.
Follow Ben Wallace on Twitter @_BenWallace.