(Editor’s note: This article contains graphic content.)
A jury in the 59th State District Court is expected to decide Wednesday if a local man is guilty of sexually assaulting the two young daughters of his fiancé over a period of more than a year starting in 2013.
Jorge Hernandez pleaded not guilty to the charge of continuous sexual assault of a child Tuesday.
After at first denying the charge, Hernandez admitted, in a videotaped police interrogation, to sexually assaulting two young children. But, he said, the oldest of the two, who was 9 years old at the time, came on to him.
Hernandez’s attorney, Jason Bowes, didn’t call a single witness in the guilt or innocence part of the trial. Prosecutors Britton Brooks and Matt Johnson called a sexual assault nurse examiner who said there was no physical proof that the children had been molested, but explained the kind of abuse the little girls alleged, being violated in their vaginas and in the anus, don’t always leave signs, especially if the children have been cleaned since the last assault. An interviewer with the Children's Advocacy Center of Grayson County said both of the little girls made outcries about abuse that they suffered at Hernandez’s hands. Though the didn’t tell the exact same story of abuse, their stories were close enough that those who heard them found them credible, witnesses testified.
Though Hernandez was indicted on a number of charges in Marc 2016, prosecutors are only trying him on the top charge of the indictment, continuous sexual abuse of a child. During their brief time on the stand Tuesday, the two girls each talked about incidents of abuse that happened at three different houses where the family lived in a two-year period.
On the day after the last incidence of abuse in December 2015, the youngest of the two girls went to their mother and told her what had been happening to them. The mother called the police.
In the videotaped police interrogation, Denison Detective John Watt watched while CAC Executive Director Britney Martin interviewed the two girls. Later, while Watt questioned Hernandez, the detective said he believed the two girls. As Hernandez continued to deny ever doing anything wrong with the little girls, Watt continued to say lying wasn’t going to work. Watt said he wanted to be able to tell people that Hernandez was a good man who had just made a mistake.
Hernandez said he would sleep in the bed with the girls’ mother and the older little girl and that is when the older little girl would “just try to touch me.”
He said he, “didn’t follow her, I didn’t go for her to try to get close to me because I cannot harm a child.”
The officer then asked Hernandez how many times either of the girls had touched his genitals and Hernandez said “three.” He then clarified that only the older girl had touched him. The officer then asked Hernandez how many times he had put his sexual organ in the youngest child’s rectum or vagina?
Hernandez said he had not ever and the detective asked how an 8-year-old child would know how to describe something like that to investigators if it didn’t happen to her. Hernandez never answered that question but said the older girl would know because he caught her looking at things like that on a phone.
The officer said the girl described what comes out of a man’s private part and said she saw it coming out of his and again Hernandez deflected saying the child must have seen that on the phone.
“Don’t lie, man, I can see that you knew everything that I am talking about,” Watt said. “It is right there, I can tell.”
Watt then said that the oldest girl said the day before the interview she had been in the kitchen getting a drink and Hernandez was in there too. She said he pulled his private part out of his pants.
Hernandez said he only hugged the girl.
When Hernandez said that the older girl was lying, Watt said through an interpreter, that the younger girl said she saw it.
Watt said he could see that Hernandez had something that he wanted to get off his chest.
“I know that you love those girls. Do right by them, and tell the truth. They deserve that,” Watt said.
The detective then asked what had happened the day before and Hernandez said “what happened yesterday is the truth,” referring apparently to what the girls had told investigators.
But then he later recanted and said he had only hugged the girls. Then a few questions later, he confessed again that he had done what the girls said the day before and that wasn’t the first time that it had happened, though, Hernandez said, he couldn’t remember the first time.
Hernandez did, however, say that he thought the first time was about a year before his interview with Watt.
Then he went back to blaming the oldest girl.
“She was always trying to find a way to touch me and seduce me,” he said.
He said he never did anything to the younger girl, but said the other girl was older.
“Her mind is more open,” he said.
Finally, after a good deal of back and forth, Hernandez admitted, “I crossed the line” with the younger girl too. After a graphic explanation of what he did to the younger girl, Hernandez said, “I am very sorry. These are things that I have in my mind.”
He then said that he had “those feelings” for the 13- and 14-year-old girls of his previous girlfriend so he got away from that family before anything happened.
The case is expected to continue in the 59th state district court Wednesday with Judge Rim Nall presiding.