Grand jury hands out indictments on drug, rape charges


A Dukes County Grand Jury has returned indictments against an Edgartown man accused of dealing heroin while out on bail on a separate drug charge, and a Tisbury man accused of raping a child.

The grand jury, on August 23, handed up a two-count indictment against David Herrmann, 30, of Edgartown. He will face charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of prescription narcotics.

Penalties for each of those offenses is up to 10 years in state prison, according to state law.

Edgartown Police arrested Mr. Herrmann on February 24 following a search of the room at 10 Teaberry Lane, in a home owned by his parents.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Herrmann, 30, wore an electronic ankle bracelet, a daily reminder that he is out on bail in a separate federal drug case.

The grand jury also indicted David I. Thrift Jr. on charges of rape of child with force, aggravated rape, two charges of assault and battery, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, intimindation of a witness, and violation of a restraining order.

The charges stem from a July 23 incident, when Tisbury police responded to a call for a domestic disturbance at 194 Spring Street.

According to the police report, David Thrift, 29, assaulted his wife after she found him sexually molesting the couple’s 15-year-old babysitter, as their three young children slept on a pullout couch in the living room.

As police were searching for Mr. Thrift, he returned to the house where the babysitter remained inside with the three children and raped the young woman despite the presence of his three children, according to the police report.

The officer in charge that night, Sgt. Robert Fiske, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to Tisbury town administrator John Bugbee.

Mr. Thrift remains in custody at the Dukes County Jail. After a dangerousness hearing in Edgartown District Court, the court ordered him held without bail.

The maximum penalty for rape of a child is life imprisonment.

Both men originally faced charges in Edgartown District Court, where the maximum jail sentence is 2.5 years. The indictments move the cases to Dukes County Superior Court, where more severe sentences are possible.