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Press Release

Maryland Man Sentenced to 13 Years for Sexually Abusing 9-Year-Old Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim Reported Abuse By Her Stepfather's Half-Brother

            WASHINGTON – Jose Hernandez, 24, of District Heights, Md., was sentenced today to 13 years in prison followed by five years supervised release for sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced.

            Hernandez pled guilty on November 16, 2018, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to a charge of first-degree child sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances.  Following his prison term, Hernandez will be required to register for the rest of his life as a sex offender and complete a five-year term of supervised release. As part of the plea, the government agreed to dismiss a pending gun case. The Honorable Danya A. Dayson sentenced Hernandez today.

            According to the government’s evidence, on June 16, 2017, the victim was at her home in Northwest Washington with her 4-year-old brother. The defendant - the victim’s stepfather’s brother - came to the house. The defendant forced the victim into the bathroom. The victim asked her brother for help, but the defendant closed the door on her brother and sexually assaulted the girl. The victim began pushing the defendant off of her, and he got off of her and went back into the living room. The victim went back into the living room and the defendant kept apologizing to her. The defendant asked the victim if she was going to tell her mother, and said that if she told, the defendant would go to jail and she would never see him again. After initially informing the defendant she was going to call her parents, the victim told the defendant she wouldn’t so the defendant wouldn’t get mad at her. The defendant left the home, and the victim locked the door behind him. The victim then called her mother to report the assault.

            The defendant was arrested in October 2017 and has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Youth and Family Services Division. She also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences, the Children’s Advocacy Center, and Children’s National Medical Center. She acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocates Juanita Harris and Tracy Owusu, Paralegal Specialists Brenda Williams, D’Yvonne Key, and T.J. McPhail, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elana Suttenberg and Stuart D. Allen, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated June 4, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-083