David Herman, a former WNEW 102.7 FM New York disc jockey who ruled the airwaves for most of the last 40 years, made his initial appearance in federal magistrate court Friday afternoon to be advised of his rights on a single count of attempting to transport a minor in interstate commerce with the intent that the minor engage in illegal sexual activity.
Herman, 77, was caught in a police sting operation, and no actual 7-year-old girl was involved.
According to the Virgin Islands Daily News, Herman, who has a vacation home on St. Croix and a home in
Airmont, N.Y., walked
into the courtroom escorted by two deputy U.S. marshals. He was dressed in a
red Bureau of Corrections two-piece outfit, and his hands and feet were chained
to restrict his movement.
Herman faced District Magistrate Judge George Cannon with his head slightly lowered, and after taking a seat next to Federal Public Defender Gabriel Villegas, he looked around the courtroom where about a dozen people sat, including reporters, social workers, employees of the U.S. Attorney's Office and Attorney Generals Office along with several federal law enforcement officers.
|Herman's St. Croix home|
Before advising him that a federal public defender had been appointed to handle the proceedings for the day, Cannon asked Herman whether he was able to afford an attorney to handle the matter.
"I can afford one, but I do not have one," he answered in a voice known by millions.
Herman was arrested Thursday afternoon just as he arrived at
on St. Croix, where federal authorities said he had expected to meet the girl
and her mother flying in from New
According to police reports, Herman had been in communications with a special agent who he thought was a 36-year-old single mother with a young daughter, but he actually was talking to an undercover officer from
, according to court documents. Bergen County,
In multiple telephone calls and online correspondences with the woman, he tried to arrange illegal sexual encounters with her 7-year-old daughter in
New York and ,
according to court documents. He later told the woman that he would fly them
both to Bergen County St. Croix so he could engage in sexual
activity with the child there, prosecutors charge.
On Sept. 30, Herman purchased airline tickets for the woman and her fictitious child to fly from La Guardia airport to
Croix. Prosecutors said when he arrived at the airport Thursday to
pick up the woman and child, he was met by special agents of U.S. Homeland
Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who arrested him there.
Cannon advised Herman of his rights on being transferred to
New Jersey, where the
case has been filed and where further prosecution will take place.
After consulting for about 30 minutes with Herman while the court took a recess, Villegas advised Cannon that Herman will waive his right to the transfer and identity hearings and will voluntarily go back to
New Jersey to face the
Herman could be imprisoned for the rest of his natural life and also made to pay a maximum fine of $250,000 if he is convicted.