A sex offender who identified as trans woman ‘Alexis’ in prison has been sent back to an all-male jail after he was caught socialising with children under the age of 16.
Aaron Herschell, 24, who renamed himself ‘Alexis’ while in prison following his transition from male to female in 2016, pleaded guilty to breaching a Risk of Sexual Harm Order at Livingston Sheriff Court on Friday.
The pervert admitted he had been in the company of children under the age of 16 at a house in Livingston, West Lothian on May 16 and 17 of this year despite being banned from doing so under the terms of the order.
Herschell was sentenced to 14 months behind bars at HMP Addiewell in West Lothian, an all-male facility, and told his name would remain on the sex offenders’ register for the next 10 years.
Sentencing him, Sheriff Douglas Kinloch warned Herschell he would be sent to prison for a third time for repeatedly breaching his public safety order.
Aaron Herschell, 24, who renamed himself ‘Alexis’ while in prison following his transition from male to female in 2016, pleaded guilty to breaching a Risk of Sexual Harm Order at Livingston Sheriff Court on Friday
Herschell sparked fury when he became the first person in Scotland to ask for gender reassignment while awaiting his rape trial at Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution in Falkirk in 2016.
Female officers grew concerned after being told to carry out ‘rubdown’ searches on Herschell, despite the serious allegations he faces. And guards feared they could lose their jobs if they refuse to carry out the searches.
He was originally convicted at the High Court in Glasgow of the attempted rape of a 19-year-old woman he met on the MeetMe dating app in July 2017.
He was sentenced to two years detention for the rape bid but was returned to prison after breaching the conditions of his licence within a few weeks of being released in October 2018.
He was also acquitted of a second charge of raping an 18-year-old girl after the jury returned a not proven verdict – despite the victim’s friends forcing Herschell to confess to the crime in a video recording.
In May 2020 Herschell was made subject to the strict conditions of a Risk of Sexual Harm Order but he breached that by deleting a dating app and chat records from his phone and computer between 30 October and 10 December 2019.
The deleted data included the Kik app, which allows users to ‘Match and Chat’ and ‘Flirt’ with girls and boys from chosen age groups.
Herschell was sentenced to 14 months behind bars at HMP Addiewell (above) in West Lothian, an all-male facility, and told his name would remain on the sex offenders’ register for the next 10 years
Earlier this year, Herschell was found to have been in the company of several youngsters at a friend’s house in nearby Livingston.
Among other things, the ROSHO banned Herschell, from West Calder, West Lothian, from having any contact or communication with anyone under the age of 16 save for ‘incidental or unavoidable contact’.
But earlier this year he was found in the company of several youngsters at a friend’s house in nearby Livingston.
Andy Aitken, defending, admitted that his client had breached public protection orders twice before.
However, he claimed: ‘There was no alternative motive – sinister or otherwise – other than to support his friend.
‘There was nothing untoward about his behaviour other than the fact he should not have been in the company of children.
‘He is all too aware now that a sentence of imprisonment will be imposed if he doesn’t comply with the conditions to the letter.’
He stressed that Herschell’s previous offences ‘in no way’ related to children.
Jailing the accused, Sheriff Douglas Kinloch told him: ‘Unfortunately this is the third time you’ve been convicted of failing to comply with the conditions of such an order, which was put in place to try to keep the public safe.
‘You were given prison sentences for each of the first two breaches and, in my view, a prison sentence is inevitable on this third charge to try to get home to you the importance of complying with these conditions.’
He stopped short of imposing an extended sentence with post-release supervision because the ROSHO will continue to be in force until 2025.
He backdated the sentence to 8 June when Herschell was initially remanded in custody for the offence and told him his name would remain on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.