LIMA — A Convoy man charged with participating in the rape of a minor female — acts that allegedly took place in the company of convicted rapist Jay Holliday and his wife Christy — has been found competent to stand trial.
Doctors at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo determined that James Hershberger, 39, has been restored to competency after six months of psychiatric treatment at the facility. Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser accepted that ruling during a hearing Tuesday morning and set a jury trial for Hersberger for May 18. A final pre-trial hearing was scheduled for April 10.
Hershberger was indicted by a grand jury in May 2019 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 last 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 a competency hearing in October of last year, Kohlrieser followed the recommendation of doctors at the Forensic Psychiatry Center of Western Ohio in Dayton and ruled Hersberger incompetent. He was ordered to the Toledo facility for treatment, with the stipulation that his mental state would be reviewed in six months.
Details surrounding the state’s case against Hersberger are largely unknown after Lima Municipal Court 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.
Prosecutors, however, have confirmed the link between Hersberger and the Holliday couple.
Jay Holliday earlier this month was sentenced to 156 years in prison for raping a 16-year-old girl. His wife, Christy Holliday, faces up to 25 years behind bars if convicted of three sex-related felony charges pending against her.