On Saturday, May 9th, 2020, police were called to a residence in Marion for what was originally called a “family issue.” When Officer Billy Cole arrived at the residence, he was met by a 14-year-old girl and her mother.
Officer Cole was then told that the girl’s step-grandfather, Manuel Herrera, had talked to the girl about wanting to have sex with her. The girl also managed to capture the entire interaction on cell phone video, which was handed over to Officer Cole.
The girl explained to the officer that there had been multiple incidents since she was young where Herrera had made her uncomfortable, especially when Herrera was drunk, which she claimed “is daily.” She said that he never exposed himself or molested or raped her, but the contact he had with her was inappropriate.
That day, May 9th, Herrera came to the girl’s home and let himself in, because he had his own key to the residence. The girl was playing on her phone, in her bed, and she was home alone.
At first, Herrera asked where the girl’s mother was, and the girl told him, she was not at home. He then asked the girl for a hug, but the girl did not want to hug him and said no. However, later, the girl finally told him to come over to where she was and she would give him a hug. When the girl did hug him, she said Herrera leaned over and “fell” on top of her, while also sliding his hand beneath her buttocks. When the girl questioned him about it, he did back off. She also told him that he smelled bad because of the alcohol he had been consuming, which also made him back off.
The interaction between the girl and Herrera was recorded on cell phone video, which Officer Cole describes in disturbing detail in the probable cause affidavit. Officer Cole noted in the affidavit that, although Herrera had been inappropriate with this girl in the past, from a young age, this was the first time the girl was able to document it and show his inappropriate actions to the people around her.
According to Officer Cole, the video captured Herrera telling the 14-year-old: “If you’re willing… to make a kid” He says that the girl was immediately upset over this suggestion. He tried making his case to her by say “it is life and every woman will make a child.” He then asked the girl whether or not she was a virgin.
Herrera told the girl that he would not rape her, because doing so would be wrong, but he wanted her to consent to having sex with him, in order to make a child, telling her, “I can make you a momma.” He then went on to explain that neither the girl’s grandmother or mother could give him a child and that he thinks the girl is “sexually attractive.”
It was then that the girl told Herrera that she wanted him to leave the house. Herrera then left.
Officer Cole managed to contact Herrera that night and asked him to come in for an interview, which he did willingly.
Herrera told Officer Cole that his wife was unable to give him children, which is why he asked the 14-year-old girl. He then told the officer he should not have asked the girl without first getting permission from the girl’s mother and grandmother.
Herrera also told Officer Cole that “women will attempt to ruin those close to them” and that his family owed him an apology “for putting them into this situation.”
Officer Cole noted in the affidavit that he did not believe Herrera felt any remorse for what he did, nor did he grasp the fact that his actions were both wrong and illegal.
Manuel Herrera was taken to the Grant County Jail that evening, and he is being charged with Child Solicitation, a Level 5 Felony. His bail has been set at $10,000 and a no contact order has been approved.