On May 16, 2011, former UFC lightweight standout Hermes Franca turned himself over to the Clackamas County Jail Monday night, charged with seven counts of Sexual Abuse in the first degree (ORS.163.427) as well as two counts of Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the second degree (ORS.163.408). Both crimes fall under Oregon’s Measure 11 mandatory minimum sentencing for serious crimes, carrying a minimum term of 75 months each. Franca’s bail has been set at $250,000.
Second degree unlawful sexual penetration in Oregon means penetration by something other than the mouth or penis of a girl under the age of 14. It is believed Franca, who owned a BJJ academy, The Team Hermes Franca BJJ Academy, in the city at one point, is accused of violating a girl who was a student of his. He since closed down the academy and is living in Florida.
Franca has retained a Portland-based lawyer, Ryan Corbridge, to represent him.
The MMA veteran of ten years was made aware of the multi-count indictment while in Brazil for his match at the International Fighter Championship on April 29. After consulting with legal counsel, Franca came back to the United States to answer the charges. Franca pled not guilty to all nine counts at his araignment Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Greg Horner of the Clackamas County District Attorney's office said Franca has been "cooperative" with the District Attorney's office.
"We adamantly deny these allegations and want to point out that he's innocent until proven guilty," Corbridge said.
Now Franca has addressed the UG with a general message.
From: Hermes Franca's Stats" href="http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/mma.cfm?go=stats.redirectUserToFighter&user=136220" target="profile" class="ProfileComment-f">Hermes Franca
Member Since: 1/1/01
This is not a statement regarding my current legal situation. On these matters I must trust I God and the United States Judicial System. I believe that in time the truth will prevail, as it always does. I am releasing this statement to assure you all that I am safe! With peace and serenity in my heart I write these words:
In the year 2000 I arrived in the United States with $300, spoke very little English and had a dream bigger than most.
Over the past decade I have had an “unbelievable” life, and “unbelievable” MMA career. God has granted me the privilege of traveling to many beautiful places, meeting numerous wonderful people and I have personally witnessed dreams come true… My Dreams! I tell you the truth when I say, I am blessed!
I recently read a quote by David Goetz that stated, “Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually.” Wow! This honestly hits home in my heart. I am ashamed to admit that along the way I lost sight of what is truly important I life, God and unconditional love for my family and friends. These are the things that should matter.
I admit that at times I have been selfish, sometimes acting as if I knew what was better for my life than God himself. I am sorry for this behavior and I have much regret. Drinking, women, parties, all part of a lifestyle that has led to my failing as a husband, a father, a dreamer.
I am now a man with very little freedom. Still, I am a human being, a son of God, a fighter at heart. I will not let this keep me down.
Lastly, I would like to share with you some important things I have learned. Put God above all, find your passion, and follow your heart. Respect all women and men in your life. Respect yourself enough to take care of yourself and your family. “God is Love”.
You are in my prayers. Please continue to pray for me. I love you all.
“Fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.” Thomas S. Monson
Please write to me at:
Hermes Franca de Barros,
2206 South Kaen Rd.
Oregon City, OR. 97045
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