Repeat sex offender accused in child porn case

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A 27-year-old convicted sex offender appeared Thursday in Clark County Superior Court to face new allegations that he convinced a teenage girl to send him lewd photos over Snapchat.

Jose A. Herrera Rea is jailed on suspicion of seven counts of first-degree dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and 16 additional counts of the same alleged crime in the second degree. Court records say the Battle Ground Police Department investigated the case.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Herrera has multiple convictions for third-degree rape of a child and possession of depictions of a minor.

Herrera started communicating with a 15-year-old girl around October 2018, first through Instagram chat and then on Snapchat once he convinced her to provide her username, according to the affidavit. Investigators allege that Herrera used video messaging on Snapchat to avoid having a text message trail.

The girl turned 16 earlier this year and posted about it numerous times on Snapchat. She told investigators it would be nearly impossible for Herrera not to know her age, according to the affidavit.

In April, Herrera began asking the girl for sexually explicit photographs and videos. At first, she refused, but then he offered her money, court records say. Herrera told the girl “multiple times that the videos he received were not exactly what he was looking for, and she would have to redo them in order to get paid,” the affidavit says.

Herrera paid the girl three times in the amounts of $25, $30 and $50, according to the affidavit.

Police tied Herrera to the alleged sex crimes through the payment transactions and identifying photos on his social media accounts. Court documents say he also admitted to police, during a Department of Corrections check-in appointment in Longview, that he’d contacted the girl and asked for nude photos and videos.

During his court hearing, Senior Deputy Prosecutor James Smith said Herrera has an extensive criminal history of sex offenses.

The convictions include a case out of Cowlitz County for which Herrera was granted a special sex offender sentencing alternative, which allows defendants to serve all or part of their sentence out of custody while participating in a sexual-deviancy treatment program. Herrera will eventually have to return to Cowlitz County for violating the conditions of that sentence, Smith said.

Smith argued that Herrera poses a risk to minors in the community in requesting that Judge Bernard Veljacic set bail at $150,000.

Bail was set at $100,000. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.



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