Canyon Lake man risks life in sexual assault trial | Community Alert
Nearly six years have passed since state prosecutors and Comal County Sheriff’s Office deputies alleged that a Canyon Lake man sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl.
A Comal County jury selected Monday opened Tuesday hearing testimony in the trial of Stephen Charles Hernandez, 60, charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and sexual assault of a child under 14. .
Comal County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Frazier is suing the state while defense attorneys James McDermott II and Jackson Lindsey represent the defendant in 466th District Court Judge Stephanie Bascon.
The two charges in the indictment, handed over September 28, 2016, stem from separate incidents with the same accuser. The aggravated charge, a first degree felony, was around December 1, 2015, and the lesser charge, a second degree felony, around March 8, 2016.
The day after the second incident, CCSO deputies responded to Mountain Valley Middle School in Canyon Lake, where a school counselor reported that a girl, then 12, had told stories about her relationship with the boyfriend of his mother, dating back to the age of 11 in 2013. .
The arrest affidavit said that in interviews with the school counselor, counselors and investigators from the Children’s Advocacy Center, the alleged victim said he had performed oral sex on Hernandez on several occasions – dating back to when the family lived in Iowa and had sex with him at a Houston-area hotel. She said Hernandez gave her an iPad, iPhone and other items as a reward.
Hernandez was arrested on the second sexual assault charge on April 24, 2016 and arrested after the indictment on the aggravated charge on October 10, 2016. He was released from Comal County Jail the following day after have filed $50,000 or each charge.
Sexual assault of a child under 14 is a first degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison to life and a fine of up to $20,000.
However, due to Hernandez’s conviction on similar charges in 2011, prosecutors are seeking an enhancement that would sentence him to mandatory life imprisonment.
A handful of background witnesses testified on Tuesday. Bascon ordered jurors and litigants to return at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.