YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Former WNEW-FM disc jockey Dave Herman was holding a stuffed animal when federal agents and investigators from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office took him into custody today as he waited at the St. Croix airport for a 7-year-old girl he intended to sexually abuse, authorities told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
Herman, 77, who has a home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, became the target of a sex sting after he contacted detectives from the Bergen County Computer Crimes Unit who were posing as a woman named “Kris” with a young daughter named “Lexi,” county Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this afternoon.
- UPDATE: Former WNEW-FM DJ Dave Herman is expected back in the U.S. within the next two weeks to face charges of planning to have sex with a 7-year-old Bergen County girl who turned out to be a creation of cyber-crime detectives, following a court appearance earlier today in St. Croix. READ MORE ….
Herman, who lives in Rockland County, bought plane tickets for the purported mother and daughter from LaGuardia Airport in Queens and was waiting at the airport in the Virgin Islands, toy animal in hand, when a team that included two county detectives snatched him up earlier today, the prosecutor said.
“The Computer Crimes Unit detectives did great work,” Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “Two detectives conducted a tedious, methodical 11-month investigation that resulted in this arrest. They stayed with what was a very difficult case involving some very serious allegations.”
Herman “initiated a series of chats” last November with someone named “Kris,” a 36-year-old single mother who said she had a 6-year-old daughter, a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark says.
He was actually communicating with Molinelli’s detectives.
Over the following months, the complaint says, Herman had “multiple telephone and online communications with the officer during which he indicated his desire to engage in sexual activity with the officer’s fictitious daughter.” Several times, it says, he “attempted to arrange illegal sexual encounters with the child in New York and Bergen County.”
According to the complaint, Herman promised that he wouldn’t hurt the child but that he might have to be “forceful” with her after giving her some alcohol.
Having failed to arrange a meeting in the New Jersey area, authorities allege, Herman told “Kris” that he had a vacation home in St. Croix, and offered to pay for her and the fictional girl to fly there for a few days “so that he could engage in sexual activity with the daughter.”
He bought the tickets on Sept 30 for the flight from LaGuardia Airport, it says.
Molinelli, who doesn’t have jurisdiction in the Virgin Islands, quickly alerted the feds.
When Herman arrived at the airport in St. Croix today, he was met by the county investigators and special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), the prosecutor said. He is scheduled for a U.S. District Court appearance in St. Croix tomorrow.
“I am proud of our Computer Crime Unit,” Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “It’s these types of cases that send a clear message that this will not be tolerated and that we will always be diligent in protecting the public.”
Herman was part of a lineup that made FM radio what it became known for — rock and roll that decades later was dubbed “classic rock.”
Besides Herman, WNEW-FM featured Scott Muni, Allison “The Nightbird” Steele, Pete Fornatale, Jonathan Schwartz, Vin Scelsa and Dennis Elsa, joined later by brothers Richard and Dan Neer and Meg Griffin. The station broadcast from the final concert at the Fillmore East, during an impromptu set by the Rolling Stones on a flatbed truck on the streets of Manhattan and from Bruce Springsteen’s legendary five-night, 10-show gig at the Bottom Line in 1975 — which closed with Herman calling for more applause for “Bruce Springsteet and the E Stein Band.”
Springsteen came back out and said: “Gimme a break.”
Many don’t know that Herman, who started out as a jazz fan, had a show on WHTG at the Jersey Shore. He left to join WNEW in May 1972, leaving behind his dreams of following in the voice-overs of former deejay greats Jazzbo, William B. Williams and Symphony Sid.
Some say he gave the call letters to station WPLJ, which was the name of an old rhythm and blues tune covered by Frank Zappa.
According to the federal complaint, the first Bergen County undercover officer was contacted last November by Herman using the screen name “david121482.” He “asked to speak privately in an instant message conversation,” which “Kris” accepted, it says.
Herman, of Airmont, said he was “Dave” from New York, and asked whether she “was sexually active with her daughter or if she was interested in people that are sexually active with children.”
After learning the fake child’s age, Herman said that “age 6 is the perfect time to start her being loved that way,” the complaint says.
“I find girls that age incredibly sexy, soft, and their innocence is also a huge turn on for me,” it quotes Herman saying.
It says he then “provided his mobile telephone number and his Yahoo! email account so that the online conversation could continue elsewhere.”
A month or so later, Herman instant-messaged that “he was close to New York City and that he wished to see ‘Lexi’ at his office in New York City or at what he believed was [her] residence in Bergen County.”
Herman promised that he would not hurt “Lexi” but “might have to be ‘forceful’ with her.” The complaint says he also suggested giving her “some alcohol to relax her.”
His “ultimate goal,” the complaint says Herman wrote, was to try to have oral and vaginal sex with the girl.
During a phone call this past September, it says, Herman spoke with a female undercover officer posing as “Kris,” and asked for hers and her daughter’s first names, last names, and dates of birth for the plane tickets.
The federal agent who swore the complaint said Herman also discussed how he wanted to “break” Lexi’s hymen and and that he was looking to do a lot of “oral” on her.
Herman bought two tickets on American Airlines from LaGuardia for travel today — providing the fake child’s birthdate as Sept. 13, 2006 — with a layover in Miami, the complaint says.
He sent the flight information and itinerary to “Kris” via email and had subsequent telephone and online conversations with her about the trip, the agent wrote. Among the topics were whether he should get food, drinks and a child’s car seat, the complaint says.
Herman also “continued to discuss his plan to engage in sexual activity with ‘Lexi’ during the trip to St. Croix,” it says.
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