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W.Va. man faces sexual assault count

April 28, 2005|by DAVE MCMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Shepherdstown, W.Va., man has been charged with second-degree sexual assault after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted during a modeling session in a warehouse next to the West Virginia State Police office in Bardane, court records said.

David Eric Herson, 44, of 544 Chandler Drive, was arrested and arraigned on the charge Wednesday, according to Jefferson County Magistrate Court records.

Herson is free on $10,000 bond.

On April 14, West Virginia State Police Trooper B.M. Wilfong responded to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., for a sexual assault complaint, according to court records.

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After arriving at the hospital, Wilfong met a woman who said Herson sexually assaulted her during a modeling session, court records said.

The woman said she met Herson through a modeling site on the Internet and set up an appointment to meet him April 14 at 115 Industrial Blvd., according to court records. The location is near the state police office along Wiltshire Road west of Charles Town.

The woman thought it would be safe, Wilfong said in a criminal complaint filed in magistrate court.

The two went inside and a door was locked behind them, Wilfong said in the complaint.

"They walked through a second door into a room where they just talked about life and modeling interests for a few minutes," Wilfong said in the complaint.

"Then, he told her she needed to undress so he could get her measurements," Wilfong said.

Herson allegedly told the woman that she needed confidence and that she would engage in scenarios to make sure that she was comfortable in an environment outside of her norm, according to the complaint.

"She asked him if there was any way to do this without being sexual and he said no," the complaint said.

In one of the scenarios, Herson told the woman to rip his clothes off, the complaint said. The woman removed his shirt and pulled his pants down, the complaint said.

The woman later got dressed and went to the hospital, court records said.

Second-degree sexual assault carries a punishment of 10 to 25 years in jail, plus a fine of $1,000 to $10,000, according to court records.

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