Adam Herrman‘s “parents” have gotten the maximum sentence for fraud: Doug got nine months in jail and Valerie got seven. (Doug got more because he had a prior criminal record.) I am very happy about this, because it looked like they wouldn’t serve any time at all. And of course they have to repay the money they stole, and court costs.
It must be said, of course, that the maximum is not very much here. But it’s better than nothing. As far as I’m concerned those two could never spend too many days behind bars.
From one article:
Butler County District Judge David Ricke gave Doug Herrman a nine-month sentence and Valerie Herrman a seven-month sentence — the maximum under the state sentencing grid. Ricke ordered that the couple be taken immediately into custody.
Their theft of $15,488 in state adoption subsidies for their adopted son was serious enough, Ricke said. But it isn’t just about the money, he said.
“This is about a boy named Adam Herrman, too,” Ricke said.
Adam is the 11-year-old adopted son who disappeared from the Herrmans’ Towanda home in 1999. The Herrmans never reported him missing, yet they continued to accept state money for his care, Ricke said.
If the Herrmans had told authorities that their son was missing, Ricke said, a missing-child alert could have been issued. There could have been search parties.
“His face should have been on milk cartons,” the judge said as the Herrmans and their attorneys listened.
“He deserved” to be reported missing, Ricke said.
But more than 12 years after Adam vanished, Ricke said, “this child is still missing.”
The judge described the couple’s inaction and action as “callous and emotionally detached” and as the “calculated abandonment of a child.”
It is a case, he said, of a child “whose interests were traded for money” by his parents.
Never was a truer thing said.
The Wichita Eagle
The El Dorado Times
The Kansas City Star