Former officer facing sex charges gets new court date

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 29-year-old former Birmingham police officer who has been charged with several sex-related crimes is scheduled to appear in court in February after his original December court date was continued.

Herbinger

Herbinger

Joshua Herbinger, who lists an address on Java Avenue in Birmingham and previously listed an address on South Forty Road in Alabaster, is facing one count of first-degree rape and four counts of sexual abuse of a child younger than 12. He had been a Birmingham police officer for about nine years before he was terminated from the position on Oct. 24.

Herbinger originally was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 17, but his hearing was rescheduled until February 25, 2015, as a result of an agreement between the defense and prosecution, according to court documents.

The new court date will allow all parties to “review evidence and witness testimony,” according to the order to continue the court date.

The Alabaster Police Department arrested Herbinger on Oct. 20 and charged him with the first-degree rape charge after an alleged incident involving an adult victim, according to Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney.

When he was arrested on Oct. 20, he was out on bond for four counts of sexual abuse of a child younger than 12, which were brought against him by Alabaster police on Oct. 9.

“A female student notified the SRO at her school of the allegations” Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney wrote in a press release the day Herbinger was arrested on the sexual abuse charges. “Detectives were notified immediately, and the investigation has resulted in today’s arrest.”

According to his arrest warrants, Herbinger’s charges stemmed from multiple incidents between Jan. 1, 2011 and Oct. 7, 2014, during which he allegedly “touched (the victim’s) privates.”

Sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 is a Class B felony, and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison upon conviction.

First-degree rape is a Class A felony, and is punishable by up to life in prison upon conviction.