By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
Two people indicted more than a year ago on several charges concerning sexual misconduct involving a minor and bigamy were convicted in federal court last week.
Rickey Larry Sherman, 58, and Corinne C. Sherman, 33, both of Lily, will be sentenced June 4.
The Shermans faced a four-count federal indictment.
The first count states that in August 2008, both Shermans “aided and abetted by one another, did employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor….to engage in, and had that minor assist another person to engage in, sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, using materials that had been mailed, shipped, and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce…”
The second count charges the same thing with a different minor, also occurring in August 2008.
Count 3 charges that from May 2008 through October 2010, both Corinne Sherman and Rickey Sherman “did conspire with one another to employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce (two minors, also involved in previous counts) to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, using materials that had been mailed, shipped, and transported in interstate and foreign commerce..”
The fourth count charges that on Oct. 4, 2010, the two “did knowingly possess” the video depictions of the two minors.
The pair face sentencing in June. For the first three counts of the indictment, the Shermans face a minimum of 15 years and a maximum life sentence, according to a release from Kyle Edelen, with the U.S. Attorney’s office. They both will be required to serve a minimum of 85 percent of their sentences before being considered for parole.
The three-day trial in Judge Amul R. Thapar’s courtroom brought forth several witnesses and other evidence against the couple, according to court records.
Only two testified for the defense, one being Corinne Sherman herself, the other her mother.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Parman marked and admitted as evidence a digital camera, a memory card, a CD with images downloaded from the camera, a CD with digital formatting of the pictures, and a black binder — which contained a printed format of the photographs.
Rickey Sherman’s defense attorney was James D. Hodge. Corinne Sherman was represented by Attorney Eric S. Edwards.
On the first day of trial, the jury learned Rickey Sherman was on probation when these latest charges were filed against him, including the fact he was not allowed to use a computer. Also that day Corinne Sherman objected to one witness’s testimony concerning her conduct toward the victims, however, it was overruled in that it further proved evidence of conspiracy. She also objected to Parman’s “leading” questions concerning that same witness, however, after a brief conference with Judge Thapar at the bench, the Court allowed Parman to lead the witness with testimony.
The second day of the trial the jury was allowed to see the physical evidence brought forth.
Jurors also heard a witness testify that Rickey Sherman “was going to make the alleged victims into porn stars,” according to court documents. The defense objected “on the grounds that the statement was more prejudicial than probative.”
The U.S. attorney argued that the testimony was necessary for the case “to establish a conspiracy to produce child pornography.” The defense’s objection was overruled.
During the trial, one of the two victims also testified from outside the courtroom through closed-circuit television. Some concerns were raised about “inconsistent” testimony from that minor person.
Defense attorneys motioned for an acquittal for both Shermans, however, those motioned were denied.
On the third day of trial, closing arguments were heard from both sides, and about 10 minutes before noon, jurors vacated to the jury room for deliberations.
The 12-member jury returned to the courtroom at about 4:45 p.m. Feb. 6.
Corinne Sherman and Rickey Sherman were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal. Corinne Sherman was jailed in the Laurel County Correctional Center — she was booked in the facility Sept. 26, 2011.
Rickey Sherman remains jailed in the Pulaski County Detention Center. He was booked into that facility on Feb. 1.