Former deputy convicted of sexual activity with inmates

A former Ector County Sheriff’s Office deputy pled guilty Monday afternoon to committing improper sexual acts with two female inmates.

The man convicted, 56-year-old Alfred John Herrera, was sentenced to two years in prison, a news release from District Attorney Bobby Bland stated. The victims supported and endorsed this plea.

Herrera was first arrested and charged in October of 2016, following an investigation by the Texas Rangers after a sexual assault was reported against Herrera the month prior, the Odessa American previously reported.

An attorney called the Rangers’ Midland office to report that his client had been sexually assaulted. The 40-year-old woman said Herrera forced her to perform oral sex on him and then sexually assaulted her with his fingers, and also told her he would use a U.S. Post Office box to deposit money into her account without it being traced back to him, a probable cause affidavit stated.

The victim, given the pseudonym Haley Dawn in the affidavit, said she was shackled during the reported sexual assault while out of the jail for an MHMR visit in August of 2016.

After being taken to MHMR with Herrera and another deputy, the affidavit detailed, the second deputy left to bring another inmate to a funeral home.

The report stated that Herrera then took her to a bathroom while she still had leg and wrist restraints on, blocked the door shut with his body, and forced her to perform oral sex.

Dawn said Herrera also sexually assaulted her with his fingers at that point.

A second inmate was also interviewed, given the pseudonym Marlina, who said Herrera forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2015 while she was shackled to a hospital bed, previous coverage stated. Texas Ranger Jim Hatfield interviewed Marlina, she said Herrera sexually assaulted her before Hatfield told her who the subject of the investigation was, the affidavit detailed.

Marlina also told Hatfield that on Aug. 1, 2016, Herrera rubbed his crotch in her face in a book closet before she pushed away from him.

After investigators talked with Herrera and search his house, finding several pieces of candy that were the same brand and flavor he gave Dawn after the reported sexual assault, previous coverage stated.

Herrera was charged in October of 2016 with two counts of sexual assault, a second-degree felony and two counts of improper sexual activity with a person in custody, a state jail felony, and was fired by the ECSO the same day. He was indicted on the charges in November of that year.

Court records show Herrera pled guilty to the two charges of improper sexual activity with a person in custody, and both sexual assault charges were dismissed.

The plea hearing took place in the 358th District Court of Judge Stacy Trotter. Court records list Michael McLeaish as Herrera’s attorney.