Molestation charges have been filed against a South Valley man. Police arrested 32-year-old Rodolfo Hernandez Tuesday.
He’s facing eleven counts of sexual abuse; The Tulare DA’s office says three victims have been named in the case.
Police say Hernandez knew the victims. “He was an acquaintance of the families; he was known to the victims,” says Tulare Police Sargent Darron Altermatt. Police aren't releasing details into how Hernandez knew the children but say one of the victim’s families reported the alleged sexual abuse.
The report launched a six-month investigation that led police to two additional victims.
Hernandez was arrested at a farm where he was employed. His co-workers say they're shocked. They tell us, Hernandez worked there for two years; he was quiet and nice, but they add it wasn't the first time Hernandez had been in trouble. Police confirmed Hernandez had been arrested in April on similar child molestation charges. No word if it's related to the current case.
Hernandez’s charges include five counts of “oral copulation and sexual penetration with a child under 10” and six counts of forcible lewd acts on a child. The Tulare DA’s office says there are three victims; the DA”s office says a special allegation of “substantial sexual conduct” has been added to the charges. The charge would tack on a longer sentence if Hernandez is convicted.
Hernandez is in the Tulare County jail pending more than $4-million bail. If convicted, Hernandez faces life in prison.
Hernandez is expected back in court at the end of the month.
Christina Lusby Reporting.