Former officer’s sex charges headed to grand jury

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County grand jury will review several sex charges against a former Birmingham police officer in the coming weeks, and will decide if it will uphold the charges, according to court records.

Herbinger

Herbinger

Shelby County District Court Judge Dan Reeves bound charges against 30-year-old Birmingham resident Joshua Richard Herbinger over to the grand jury on Aug. 26. Herbinger previously listed an address in Alabaster. The grand jury will review Herbinger’s charges “at its next available session,” and will decide if it will indict the suspect on any of the charges.

Herbinger 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, 2014.

The Alabaster Police Department arrested Herbinger on Oct. 20, 2014, 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, 2014, 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, 2014.

“A female student notified the SRO at her school of the allegations” 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.