DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Dauphin County prosecutors have sentenced Demetrice Herron, 41, to at least 10 years in prison following the 2018 sexual assault of a New Jersey woman who was traveling through Pennsylvania.
Herron's sentence could be upped to 20 years, according to prosecutors.
In Oct. 2018, a woman traveling through the Commonwealth was retrieving items from her disabled car in a remote lot behind a mechanic's garage on North Front Street in Harrisburg following a motor vehicle crash.
Herron approached her, and after making small talk, pushed her into the wrecked car and assaulted her, according to a release.
The victim returned to New Jersey, where she obtained medical treatment that resulted in the recovery of evidence that was used to convict Herron in March of this year.
During the investigation, detectives discovered that Herron was a truck driver from North Carolina, whose car was being serviced at the garage where the assault occurred. He too had been traveling through Pennsylvania at the time.
Police tracked him down to Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, where he was incarcerated on another charge. A detective in North Carolina obtained a DNA sample from Herron, which matched the evidence gathered by medical examiners, also according to the release.
Herron will be subject to a lifetime on the Megan's Law website.
“This case is a prime example of a tremendous effort by law enforcement and other agencies from multiple jurisdictions," Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle said in a statement. "Our efforts to obtain justice for this victim would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of each of these individuals."
A sexual assault charge rarely carries a 10-year sentence, but detectives discovered during the investigation that Herron had previously committed another crime of violence, a home invasion burglary, and the law mandated imposition of the maximum sentence, prosecutors said.
"This trial brought witnesses from throughout the Commonwealth, New Jersey, and North Carolina to hold the defendant accountable for his violent actions," Gettle also said in her statement. "Herron has a significant prior record in North Carolina, and we are thankful that the community will be protected from him for a long time."