Alleged rapist ruled incompetent to stand trial


By J Swygart - jswygart@limanews.com



James Hershberger confers with his attorney, Carroll Creighton, before leaving an Allen County courtroom on Wednesday.

James Hershberger confers with his attorney, Carroll Creighton, before leaving an Allen County courtroom on Wednesday.


J Swygart | The Lima News

James Hershberger, 39, of Convoy, was ruled incompetent to stand trial on charges of rape and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor during a brief hearing Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court. He was ordered conveyed to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo. His mental state will be re-examined in six months.

James Hershberger, 39, of Convoy, was ruled incompetent to stand trial on charges of rape and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor during a brief hearing Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court. He was ordered conveyed to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo. His mental state will be re-examined in six months.


J Swygart | The Lima News

LIMA — A Convoy man charged with rape will spend at least the next six months in a Toledo psychiatric hospital after being deemed incompetent to stand trial.

James Hershberger, 39, was recently evaluated by physicians at the Forensic Psychiatry Center of Western Ohio in Dayton. The examination was requested in August by Hershberger’s attorney, Carroll Creighton.

During a competency hearing Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court, Judge Terri Kohlrieser followed the recommendation of doctors who performed the evaluation of Hershberger’s current mental state and ruled him incompetent to assist in his own legal defense. The psychologist who performed the exam was of the opinion that Hershberger could be restored to competency within a year.

Kohlrieser ordered the Convoy man to be conveyed to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo as soon as a bed is available and said his mental state would be reviewed in six months.

Hershberger was indicted by a grand jury in May on charges of rape, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and sexual battery for acts which prosecutors allege took place between March 1 and March 14 of this year.

The first-degree felony rape charge filed against Hershberger alleges that he engaged in sexual conduct with another and “purposely compelled the other person to submit by force or threat of force.”

The charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a third-degree felony, alleges that Hershberger engaged in sex with a person he knew to be between the age of 13 and 16 when he was 10 or more years older than the other person. The sexual battery charge is also a third-degree felony.

During his appearance in Lima Municipal Court in April, Judge Tammie Hursh ordered the affidavit in support of the arrest warrant for Hershberger on a charge of trafficking in persons be sealed and not made available for public inspection so as not to “seriously jeopardize the investigation” or the parties involved in the case.

Municipal court documents allege Hershberger did “knowingly recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain or maintain” another person for the purpose of sexually-oriented or nudity-oriented material or sexual activity.

James Hershberger confers with his attorney, Carroll Creighton, before leaving an Allen County courtroom on Wednesday.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2019/10/web1_Hershberger-2.jpgJames Hershberger confers with his attorney, Carroll Creighton, before leaving an Allen County courtroom on Wednesday. J Swygart | The Lima News
James Hershberger, 39, of Convoy, was ruled incompetent to stand trial on charges of rape and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor during a brief hearing Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court. He was ordered conveyed to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo. His mental state will be re-examined in six months.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2019/10/web1_Hersberger.jpgJames Hershberger, 39, of Convoy, was ruled incompetent to stand trial on charges of rape and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor during a brief hearing Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court. He was ordered conveyed to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo. His mental state will be re-examined in six months. J Swygart | The Lima News

By J Swygart

jswygart@limanews.com

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