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Man sentenced to 11 years after pleading guilty in '05 incident

June 08, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Shepherdstown, W.Va., man who was charged after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted last year during a modeling session in Bardane, W.Va., was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in jail, a prosecutor said.

David Eric Herson, 45, of 544 Chandler Drive, also was charged in a similar case involving another woman.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. handed down the sentence against Herson after the man pleaded guilty Monday to charges of employment or use of a minor in sexually explicit conduct, fraudulent scheme and battery, Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Larry Crofford said.

The fraudulent scheme charge stemmed from a different case involving the two women.

Herson was charged after a woman said she met him through a modeling site on the Internet and set up an appointment to meet him April 14, 2005, at a warehouse next to the West Virginia State Police office.

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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 court records.

"She asked him if there was any way to do this without being sexual and he said no," according to a criminal complaint in Jefferson County Magistrate court.

Herson originally was charged with second-degree sexual assault in that incident, but the charge was reduced to battery, Crofford said.

In a similar case, a woman told West Virginia State Police about how she met Herson and that he immediately approached her about becoming a model, according to magistrate court records.

Herson told the woman that he had many contacts in the modeling industry and that he could train her to be successful in the business, according to court records.

The woman told police that she went to a warehouse in the Bardane Industrial Park on about March 28 last year and met Herson.

The woman - who was 17 at the time - said Herson locked the door after they were inside and requested that she take off her clothes, records state.

The woman said Herson wanted her to express different types of emotion that she would classify as sexually based emotions, records state.

The woman said she met Herson again at the warehouse March 31 and that she was instructed to perform a sex act on Herson, who then attempted to perform a sex act on the woman, according to court records.

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