Herek Free as Court Reviews Case

By Todd Cooper
Omaha World Herald
December 1, 2006

Former priest Daniel Herek will remain out of jail until a high court rules on whether his misdemeanor lewd-conduct conviction should stand.

Herek appeared in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday to face allegations that he violated his probation by exposing himself in a mall parking lot.

However, Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, chief criminal prosecutor of the Douglas County Attorney's Office, said court officials will wait to have a hearing on the alleged probation violation until Herek exhausts his appeals.

Herek, 61, was sentenced to 120 days in jail after being convicted of lewd conduct and indecent exposure. A woman testified that she saw Herek masturbating in the Crossroads Mall parking lot.

Herek's attorney, Michael Bianchi, has appealed, arguing that authorities should have informed him about a second suspect police interviewed.

Judge J Russell Derr rejected that appeal, but Herek will now take his case to the Nebraska Court of Appeals, Bianchi said.

If convicted of the felony probation violation, Herek could face one to 20 years in prison.

In 1999, Herek was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of probation for molesting a 14-year-old boy at St. Richard Catholic Church in Omaha.


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