News

Former student teacher admits he sexually assaulted Surrey teen

  -
— image credit:

A former student teacher has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a Surrey high school student two years ago.

Michael Edward Herrera was 24 when he was arrested and charged in August 2010 with sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching by a person under the age of 16, and sexual interference (touching someone under 16 for a sexual purpose).

Wearing dark clothing, the fair-haired Herrera, now 26, entered his guilty plea to the sexual assault charge in New Westminster Supreme Court on Monday morning (Oct. 15) on what was to be the first day of a two-week trial.

Crown prosecutor Winston Sayson said the other two charges will likely be stayed after Herrera is sentenced and the case concludes early next year.

The incidents to which Herrera pleaded guilty took place between May 10 and 18, 2010. Surrey RCMP then received a complaint from a girl who told them a student teacher had engaged in an "inappropriate relationship" with her.

Herrera was charged approximately three months later. Sayson said the investigation by the Surrey RCMP's Child Abuse and Sexual Offence section included forensic DNA, cell phone, computer and medical evidence.

The victim was 15 and in Grade 10 at the time of the incident and is now 18. There is a publication ban on any information that might identify her.

"This belated guilty plea comes as a big relief for the victim and her family," said Sayson. "The victim showed tremendous courage by coming forward and telling her story to the police."

Herrera was not an employee of the Surrey School District, but finishing his teacher training, which includes unpaid practical experience in a school classroom.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
Province re-commits to new Surrey school space
 
Qayqayt occupancy permit obtained
 
Adventures: Shooting the Orpheum
Two records broken at MRP
 
Seeking employment the old-school way
 
Convicted serial rapist apologizes for Langley crime, says he has changed
A life dedicated to making others smile
 
Watch Black Press newsrooms take the hilariously hope-filled Ice Bucket Challenge
 
Almost a century of The Progress now online

Community Events, August 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.