Child molesting charges filed against Walkerton man

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

A Walkerton man was charged Monday with 10 counts of child molesting after he was accused of having sex and performing sex acts with three children younger than 5 between 2012 and 2014.

Jason L. Hershberger, 34, is being held on $500,000 corporate surety or $50,000 cash bond at the St. Joseph County Jail, according to the South Bend Tribune.

One of the victims told police that Hershberger molested her up to seven times from April 2012 to when she was interviewed in December 2014, the Tribune reported. Another girl told police she was molested at least twice by Hershberger and a boy said Hershberger had sex with him at least once between October 2012 and December 2014.

A sex device found during a search of Hershberger’s home tested positive for the DNA of one of the girls and Hershberger, according to the Tribune.

Five of the charges are Class A felonies and five are Level 1 felonies, according to online court records, because some incidents happened before Indiana revamped its felony offense levels in July 2014.

Class A felonies are punishable by up to 50 years in prison in Indiana and Level 1 felonies are punishable by up to 40 years in prison, according to state sentencing guidelines.

If convicted of all 10 counts, Hershberger could be sentenced up to 450 years in prison.