Albion man ‘vehemently denies’ raping child
Judge sets bail at $25K for Richard Hering Jr.
ALBION – An Albion man facing charges of rape and incest against a child and sexual abuse against three children denied the charges in Orleans County Court on Monday, when the judge set bail at $25,000.
Richard Hering Jr., 45, said he is innocent and offered to take a polygraph test.
“He vehemently denies having done this,” said Mark Lewis, Hering’s attorney. “He should be presumed innocent.”
Hering and his girlfriend Renee Koch, 54, were charged on Feb. 27 with forcible touching, sex abuse and act in manner injurious to a child less than 17 years of age. There were allegedly three victims.
After those charges, Hering was arrested again on March 9 after additional information was developed, Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said.
The charges include two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child (felony), two counts of first-degree rape (felony) and two counts of incest in the first degree (felony).
The crimes are alleged to have occurred in 2008 and 2010 in the Village of Albion. District Attorney Joe Cardone said the victim of the alleged crime is very credible.
Cardone asked Sara Sheldon, interim County Court judge, to set bail for Hering at $50,000 during a bail hearing Monday in County Court.
“These are extremely serious charges,” Cardone said. “We are concerned he is a flight risk.”
Lewis said the charges against Hering are only accusations. The attorney asked for a lower bail.
Cardone noted that Hering has a previous conviction in 1994 for a misdemeanor of attempted sexual abuse in the 2nd degree in Clarendon.
Sheldon said she was concerned about that charge as well as allegations that there are three victims in the latest case.
She set bail at $25,000 cash and $50,000 bond.
In other cases in County Court on Monday:
• The judge agreed to accept a Rochester woman into a judicial diversion program where her felony charge will be dismissed if she can avoid drugs and complete treatment in the next two years.
Adrienne Williams, 52, has been to state prison three times. She has battled addictions for many years. The diversion program, which requires treatment, gives her a chance for breaking the cycle, said her attorney, Dominic Saraceno.
Williams thanked Judge Sheldon for the opportunity. Williams pleaded guilty to promoting prison contraband in the first degree. She admitted to bringing 49 pills to the Albion Correctional Facility.
If she fails in the diversion program, she could face up to 3 ½ to 7 years in state prison.
Cardone opposed the diversion program for Williams, saying she has “led a life of criminal behavior” with 35 convictions.
If Williams can complete the program, the felony charges will be dismissed and she will be sentenced to three years of probation to be served in Monroe County.
“It’s going to be hard,” Sheldon told Williams. “You need to make your appointments and you’re going to be tested constantly. It’s going to be hard work, and you need to do the heavy lifting.”
• A trial will start April 30 for Lamar L. Nelson, 29, of Rochester, who is accused of selling cocaine in Albion on May 1. He faces multiple charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession in the fourth degree as well as criminally using drug paraphernalia. Nelson has declined any plea offers.
• A trial for another Rochester man facing drug charges is scheduled to begin on May 7. Victor T. Simmons, 47, is accusing of selling heroin and cocaine in Albion.
Simmons declined a plea deal with a maximum sentence of 2 ½ years in state prison if he pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.