Former Radio Personality Dave Herman Arrested In Sex Sting, Enters No Plea In Court Appearance
Retired New York radio personality Dave Herman did not enter a plea during his first court appearance on Friday after being charged in a sting operation with trying to transport a 7-year-old girl to the U.S. Virgin Islands for sex.
Herman,77, of Airmont, N.Y. and St. Croix says he won't fight extradition to d New Jersey. He was arrested at the St. Croix airport on Thursday where federal authorities said he had expected to meet the girl and her mother flying in from New York.
Herman initiated a series of chats on a website with a woman named "Kris" about her daughter "Lexi" but was actually talking to an undercover officer from Bergen County according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
The graphic conversations went on for several months in multiple telephone and online communications and attempts by Herman to arrange illegal sexual encounters with the "Lexi" in New York and in Bergen County.
"Age 6 is the perfect time to start being loved that way," wrote Herman in one message. In subsequent chats, Herman suggested that he may have to give "Lexi" alcohol in order to relax her.
After several discussions about meeting in New Jersey or at his office in New York City, Herman bought airline tickets for "Kris"and "Lexi" to travel from LaGuardia Airport to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands on October 24. Herman went to meet the pair at the airport carrying a teddy bear for "Lexi" but was instead met by agents from the departments of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Prosecutors said they had not been notified as of Thursday afternoon whether Herman had a lawyer.
Herman is charged with a count of attempting to transport a minor in interstate commerce with the intent that the minor engage in illegal sexual activity. If convicted, the charge can carry up to life in prison and a maximum $250,000.
Herman was the first on-air personality at Philadelphia's WMMR when the station changed format to rock in 1968 after winning a contest in Asbury Park to win the honor. He then moved onto the former WABC FM before landing at WNEW where he worked in mornings and nights until 1998. He later got involved with a disagreement with CBS over compensation. He also attempted to start an internet radio station.
New Jersey 101.5 late night talk host and longtime New York area personality Ray Rossi says Herman "was the jock who, when WABC-FM was changing its call letters, came up with the calls WPLJ which stands for White Port Lemon Juice, a song by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention."
Reaction to the charges ranges from shock to disgust. New Jersey 101.5 air personality Don Tandler recalls that an entire generation grew up with Herman. He is surprised at the charges "because there was never a hint of scandal in Herman's 40 years at the top of his profession. Tandler "feels sadness, for any possible victims preyed on by Herman over those 40 years."
On Twitter the reaction has been harsh. "Dave Herman, dj from my youth, shame on you," tweeted @TresOui. "For those of you who may remember WNEW-FM, "Hey, Dave Herman! Play us some rock and roll!" this is really sad," read a tweet from @TimoNolan.