Man gets nearly 30-year minimum in ‘horrific’ CSC case.

December 5, 2017

Ryan Herrera

Man gets nearly 30-year minimum in ‘horrific’ CSC case.

#MasonCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 35-year-old Sherman Township man was sentenced to a minimum of 29 years and eight months to 70 years in a “horrific” criminal sexual conduct case Tuesday, Dec. 5, in 51st Circuit Court.

Ryan Lee Herrera, of 3376 N. Custer Rd., sexually assaulted two victims, a boy who was 12 and 13 years old at the time of the assaults, and a girl, who was 14 and 15 years old when the assaults occurred.

Herrera, a previously convicted sex offender, pleaded guilty, Oct. 10, to two counts of first-degree CSC, two counts of accosting children for immoral purposes and second-degree habitual offender.

A plea agreement called for Herrera serving to 22-35 years in prison. Judge Susan K. Sniegowski handed down a stiffer sentence in light of Herrera attempting to bribe one of the victims so he could get a lighter sentence.

“It’s a horrific crime, Mr. Herrera,” the judge said.

Herrera initially faced felony charges of second-offense first-degree CSC (victim under 13), first-degree CSC (during a felony), possession of child sexually-abusive material, delivery of marijuana, maintaining a drug house, and accosting a child for immoral purposes in one file. In another court file, Herrera was charged with second-offense accosting a child for immoral purposes.

Herrera previously testified that he accosted the female child Dec. 15, 2016 at the Taco Bell restaurant in Pere Marquette Township. He told Judge Sniegowski that the sexual assaults occurred at a home on Third Street in the City of Ludington.

He previously served a 10-15 year prison term for a second-degree CSC conviction in Mason County, Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said.

He has been lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $500,000 cash/surety bond.

At his sentencing Tuesday, Spaniola said that Herrera would meet his victims at the library, and then drive them to a remote location alongside the road and sexually assault them. He also provided the victims with marijuana.

Spaniola said Herrera attempted bribery and obstruction of justice by attempting to offer one of the victims “several hundred dollars to advocate for a lighter sentence.”

“This strikes at the heart of the criminal justice system,” the prosecutor said.

Herrera’s letter never reached the victim.

“It is the people’s position that the defendant no longer has the security of the sentencing agreement,” Spaniola said.

“I really do want to say I’m sorry,” Herrera said. “I got sick, and I should have gotten help. I hate myself for everything I’ve done. Mental illness and depression is horrible. I am truly sorry.”

“This is all my fault,” Herrera said to the victim who was present in court. “You did nothing wrong.”

“The facts of the case show you were already a registered sex offender, putting yourself in that situation,” the judge said, citing Herrera’s “predatory conduct” and “manipulation.”

The judge also ordered concurrent terms of two years and four months to six years for the accosting children convictions.

He received credit for 278 days served in jail.

Herrera will be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring upon release from prison.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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