Dozens gathered in the parking lot of the Nunda courthouse, orders of protection in hand, to address a growing concern in their small town.
“I didn’t want this town to be the next one on the news,” said Jenn Buccholz, who organized the meeting.
As the group of victims gathered to discuss going to the town about what they’re calling continued harassment, the man alleged of committing a growing list of crimes, crossed the street and into their paths.
As our cameras were rolling, Herman Hassell is on camera, violating the orders of protection against him, which require a minimum of 500 feet between him and the people in that parking lot.
As we stood there, four counts of criminal contempt for violating those orders of protection were added to the multiple arrests he’s racked up in the past few months alone.
“The concern and maybe why you’re here is the frequency at which he’s getting arrested but he makes bail or bail wasn’t set. We’re concerned how frequently he’s being arrested, but those are just arrests at this time,” said Livingston County District Attorney, Greg McCaffrey.
One of those arrests, a felony offense out of Allegany county in relation to the alleged rape of Hassell’s 12-year-old niece by her father (Hassell’s brother-in-law) John Wesner. Those charges include possession of child porn.
At his criminal contempt arraignment, Hassell had this to say: “John Wesner raped that girl, I took pictures of him raping that girl,” said Hassell.
Another victim’s mother coming forward, alleging that Hassell drugged and raped her 16-year-old daughter, threatening to kill her family if she came forward. A close friend of the victim describes what she says happened to her.
Crystal Dacey said the 16-year-old was terrified to come forward, and she knows why.
“It breaks my heart that a sixteen year old is scared that nothing is going to get done with this guy,” said Dacey.
Police would not comment on those allegations saying it is currently under investigation,adding though, that they are on top of it. As for why Hassell has been able to get out on bail, McCaffrey said bail is not meant to be punitive, just to ensure that he returns to court.
“Fifteen-thousand cash and thirty-thousand bond is substantial for a misdemeanor and it shows how seriously the court takes Mr. Hassell at this point,” said McCaffrey.
Unfortunately, that’s not helping those who feel victimized sleep any better.