Man agrees to vasectomy in plea deal

06/23/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Virginia – A Virginia man agreed to get a vasectomy in order to reduce his prison sentence. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Jessie Lee Herald, 27, agreed to the terms of the deal so that his sentence in a child endangerment case would be reduced by up to five years.

Herald has not been charged with any sexual offense. Shenandoah County assistant prosecutor Ilona White is quoted by the AP as stating of Herald, “He needs to be able to support the children he already has when he gets out.” She has said her request was primarily decided to prevent him from fathering additional children, since he currently has seven by six different women.

Some have drawn comparisons in the case to forced sterilizations in the state of Virginia during the 20th century under eugenics, a pseudoscience that has since been discredited.

Steve Benjamin of Richmond, past president of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is quoted as stating of Herald’s case, “This takes on the appearance of social engineering.”

Herald’s attorney, Charles Ramsey, said that his client willingly agreed to the deal, in which he will also be required to pay for his vasectomy. Ramsey says of the eugenics comparisons, “I understand the comparison, but I don’t think it’s fair. That’s kind of exaggerating it.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Virginia Legal News

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