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Jury’s verdict: Union City man guilty of sexual battery, unlawful photographing

Jury’s verdict: Union City man guilty of sexual battery, unlawful photographing

Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2010 9:10 pm

 A Union City man has been found guilty on several charges relating to the alleged filming of women without their consent. Richard Herrera appeared for trial Wednesday in Obion County Circuit Court on multiple charges after being indicted by a grand jury in October 2009. According to a verdict form handed down by the jury Wednesday, Herrera was found guilty of criminal attempt to commit unlawful photographing, but not guilty of unlawful photographing, in Count 1; guilty of sexual battery in Count 2; guilty of criminal attempt to commit sexual battery in Count 3; and guilty of unlawful photographing in Count 4. Sentencing in the matter has been scheduled for Feb. 5 before Circuit Judge Bill Acree, according to Obion County Circuit Court Clerk Harry Johnson. Herrera still has two other cases pending in Circuit Court. They include a charge of indecent exposure and a charge of theft, Johnson said. Herrera was charged in August 2009 after Union City police allegedly discovered digital media showing videos of victims being filmed without their consent. He waived several of the charges over to the grand jury in late August during a preliminary hearing in General Sessions Court. At that time, 14 charges of unlawful photographing in violation of privacy were dismissed by the state, while four additional charges of unlawful photographing in violation of privacy were waived to the grand jury. Charges of indecent exposure, sexual battery and attempted sexual battery were also waived to the grand jury and a charge of theft was bound over to the grand jury, according to court records. Herrera was initially arrested on charges of sexual battery, attempted sexual battery and two counts of unlawful photographing in violation of privacy, according to a Union City Police Department press release. After further investigation, he was also charged with theft over $1,000 and 16 additional counts of unlawful photographing in violation of privacy, as well as one count of indecent exposure. The sexual battery and attempted sexual battery charges stemmed from a July 10, 2009, incident at Walmart, where Herrera was accused of inappropriately touching a woman. The charges also included unlawful photographing due to Herrera’s allegedly using a digital device to photograph under the victim’s skirt. A separate incident at Walmart on Aug. 14, 2009, led to charges of unlawful photographing in violation of privacy, police reported. The additional charges of unlawful photographing in violation of privacy stem from a search warrant conducted at Herrera’s residence. During the search, police found digital media which allegedly showed videos of victims being filmed without their consent. The pending charge of indecent exposure was levied due to an alleged incident at Skaggs Market in Union City, where Herrera is accused of exposing himself to a female clerk, while the pending theft charge is due to Herrera’s allegedly keeping property that belongs to his former employer, police reported. Published in The Messenger 1.21.10

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