ALBION – Two men from Orleans County were sentenced to incarceration today for sex crimes against children.
Richard Hering Jr., 46, of Albion was sentenced to 2 years in state prison for first-degree sexual abuse. He also will have 3 years of post-release supervision and will be a registered sex offender.
On June 6, Hering entered an Alford plea, where he pleaded guilty while insisting on his innocence.
He maintained he didn’t commit the crime today during sentencing.
“There is no way I can win,” he said at sentencing. “I just wish they would tell the truth.”
The sentencing was delayed for about two hours after a letter was presented in court that was sent to Hering in the Orleans County Jail on Aug. 4. The letter was signed by the victim in the crime, and said “it was all lies” and Hering didn’t abuse her.
District Attorney Joe Cardone then had the victim testify in court. She said she didn’t send the letter and it wasn’t her hand-writing.
Hering said he had nothing to do with the letter.
“I don’t know where the letter came from,” he told Judge Charles Zambito of Genesee County, who presided over the case.
Cardone said the letter in latest effort from Hering to manipulate “various aspects of this case.”
Cardone said Hering should be sent to state prison.
Judge Zambito agreed, and gave him the maximum as part of the plea agreement.
“It’s clear you don’t accept responsibility,” Zambito said. “There is no question in my mind you are guilty as charged.”
Hering initially faced a 43-count indictment that included charges of rape and incest against a child and sexual abuse against three children.
Hering and Renee Koch, 55, were charged on Feb. 27, 2018 with forcible touching, sex abuse and act in manner injurious to a child less than 17 years of age.
Koch today was sentenced to three years on probation after pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.
The crimes are alleged to have occurred in 2008 and 2010 in the Village of Albion.
Zambito issued an order of protection for the victim.
• A Medina man who pleaded guilty to course of sexual contact against a child in the second degree was sentenced to 6 months in the county jail, plus 10 years of probation.
Jefffrey Woodroe, 39, admitted to sexual contact with a girl under age 12 on a least two occasions between April 2008 and April 2012.
The victim of the crime spoke in court and said Woodroe violated her family’s trust and damaged her self esteem. However, she is determined to not let the crime define her.
“I will forever be a prisoner of my memories,” she said.
Woodroe apologized to the victim, her family and his family.
“I realize the acts are uncalled for,” he told Judge Samford Church, who presided over the case. “I feel so bad for the pain I caused.”
Woodroe’s attorney, Chris Privateer, asked that Woodroe not be sentenced to jail so he could continue working and supporting his family.
“Some crimes call out for punishment,” Church said. “This crime was so horrendous and it was for a duration of time.”
Church also issued an order of protection for the victim for the next 8 years, the maximum allowed.
• In other cases, an Albion man who was unsuccessful in a judicial diversion program was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for third-degree burglary.
Prince Wilson, 20, didn’t keep appointments with mental health and drug treatment as part of the diversion program.
His attorney, Nathan Pace, said Wilson didn’t have the support from his family to keep up with the program. Wilson has struggled with mental health issues since he was a young boy, Pace said.
He asked for probation for Wilson, who broke into an Albion gas station two years ago and stole about $60 of merchandise.
Wilson said he “wants to break the cycle I’ve been suffering for a long time.”
• A Medina man was arraigned on one court of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Jim Farewell, 31, allegedly had 2 ounces of cocaine on April 27. He is out on $10,000 cash bail, $20,000 bond.
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