LIMA — James Hershberger, charged with rape and other assorted sex crimes, pleaded guilty to the lesser of three counts against him Friday in a deal with prosecutors.
He faces a maximum of five years behind bars when he is sentenced April 3 on a third-degree felony count of sexual battery.
The Convoy man 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. Prosecutors say Hershberger participated in the sexual abuse of a minor female — an act that allegedly took place in the company of convicted rapist Jay Holliday and his wife, Christy.
Prosecutors dismissed the rape and unlawful sexual conduct charges in exchange for Hershberger’s plea.
Earlier this month it was reported that doctors at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo determined Hershberger, 39, had been restored to competency after six months of psychiatric treatment at the facility. He was scheduled to stand trial beginning May 18.
In October, Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser followed the recommendation of doctors at the Forensic Psychiatry Center of Western Ohio in Dayton and ruled Hersberger incompetent to stand trial. He was ordered to the Toledo facility for treatment, with the stipulation that his mental state would be reviewed in six months.
Most of the facts in the case have been sealed under court order, however prosecutors 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.