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LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III set bail at $15,000 Wednesday for a Niagara Falls man charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in that city 16 months ago.

Clarence Herbert, 33, of Orleans Avenue, was arrested Nov. 20 and charged with first- and second-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child. City judges weren’t permitted to set bail because Herbert has two prior felony convictions, for driving while intoxicated and attempted fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to a year in the County Jail for those in 2011.

Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco told Murphy that Herbert’s case is being held for a grand jury presentation. He said of the incident, “It’s not brutal force, but enough to sustain a rape first.”

He acknowledged that the alleged victim didn’t report the incident for months, leading him to believe she wasn’t injured. Defense attorney Janelle Messer said Herbert became aware that there was a criminal investigation about two months ago.