ELBURN – A truck has been seized from an Elburn man charged with indecent solicitation of a child through the internet, as well as other crimes.
Richard L. Herra, 49, of the 400 block of East Reader Street, faces charges related to two separate incidents. A 2007 white Ford F-350 pickup truck belonging to Herra was seized Sept. 25, according to court documents. The truck allegedly was used in one of the incidents.
Court records allege that Herra contacted a 16-year-old juvenile male on the internet and intended to meet with him in Elburn ”for purposes of having sex.”
“Undercover deputies from the Kane County Sheriff's Office made contact with Herra using the juvenile’s username and password and agreed to meet with Herra at [a] restaurant on Sept. 25,” stated court documents. “Herra indicated to [the] deputies in his contact over the internet that he wanted to have sex with someone he believed to be a 16-year-old juvenile.”
A notice of forfeiture for the truck was filed Oct. 24. The status of forfeiture court hearing is set for Dec. 5 at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles Township.
Illinois’ forfeiture law allows for the state to seek forfeiture of an asset used in the commission of a crime, Kane County prosecutors said. In this case, prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of Herra's vehicle because – they allege – he was using it to facilitate the offense of indecent solicitation of a child.
Prosecutors went on to say that forfeiture of possessions is not uncommon in relation to sex offenses; they added that other assets are not being sought.
After a Kane County Sheriff’s Office investigation in late September, Herra was charged by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office with indecent solicitation of a child, a Class 3 felony; attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 3 felony; and indecent solicitation of a child through the internet, a Class 4 felony.
After he was charged, a Kane County judge gave Herra a signature bond, allowing him to be released from the Kane County jail on his promise to appear in court, according to a news release from the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.
Two days later, after a second Kane County Sheriff’s Office investigation, Herra was charged by prosecutors with six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony, alleging that Herra committed a sex act with a minor younger than 17.
Bail for Herra was originally set at $250,000. Kane County Associate Judge Linda Abrahamson later reduced the bail to $100,000 over the objection of the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.
Herra was still in jail as of Nov. 6.
The alleged offenses are not related to one another and involve separate victims. The second charges were filed after Herra was released from custody in the first case.
If Herra posts bond, he is prohibited from having contact of any kind with a minor; he is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with any immediate family member who is a minor; and he is prohibited from using the Internet.
Abrahamson set Herra’s next court appearance for 9 a.m. Nov. 17 in courtroom 305 at the Kane County Judicial Center.
If convicted of the most serious offense, Herra faces a sentence of probation or between three and seven years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In addition to the prison term, Herra would have to register for life as a sexual offender in accordance with the Illinois Sexual Offender Registration Act.