Ex-KISS Manager Pleads Guilty

Former KISS business manager Dr. Jesse Hilsen pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court October 31st to a federal misdemeanor charge of failing to pay child support.

Hilsen agreed to pay $162,000 to his ex-wife, who’s homeless, in order to save his medical license. The plea to a misdemeanor rather than a felony will enable him to keep his license to practice child psychiatry and to work off his debt.

Hilsen served as Paul Stanley’s therapist in the 1980s before becoming KISS’ business manager from 1988 to 1992.

The psychiatrist has been in prison for the past year and three months awaiting trial on charges that he failed to pay support to his ex-wife and their three children, who are now grown. He remained incarcerated after the plea and after agreeing to disclose all his assets to the government.

At press time, a sentencing date had not been set.

Hilsen was arrested in June 2004 and arraigned on federal charges of evading child support. He had been on the run since 1994, when state warrants for his arrest were first issued. A private investigator reportedly tracked Hilsen from the Netherlands to Israel to South Africa.

Federal investigators are now trying to determine if he has assets in any of those countries, officials told The New York Times.

Ex-wife Rita, who has lived in a homeless shelter in New York City for the last decade, originally sued Hilsen for $2 million. Her former husband reportedly filed for bankruptcy before their divorce was finalized and she lost her East Side apartment.

“To me, it’s beyond compensation,” she told the New York Post. “He left his children and wife on welfare and food stamps and fled the country for 10 years.”

As he entered his plea in court, Hilsen told U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz, “I knew it was wrong not to pay child support.”

A former KISS bookkeeper reportedly testified in 1994 that the band paid Hilsen more than $700,000 in one year, and that he often received payments in cash.