HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS – A Harris County deputy constable has been fired amid accusations he sexually assaulted a young girl 10 years ago in San Antonio, authorities said Wednesday.
Gerardo Hernandez, 41, was taken into custody Tuesday, charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child in an incident that allegedly took place in 2002, Precinct 4 Constable’s Office authorities said.
The girl, about 6 at the time of the alleged incident, did not report it until Dec. 27, 2011, San Antonio Police Department authorities said.
On that day, officers responded to a report of lewd conduct at a home in San Antonio, where they were told by an unidentified person that the girl, now a teenager, was seen sneaking out of the house by a neighbor, authorities said.
When confronted about sneaking out, the girl made an outcry about an incident that she said occurred nearly a decade earlier, authorities said.
“Her baby sitter’s husband, the suspect (Hernandez), was taking care of her while the babysitter went to the store,” said officer Matthew Porter, an SAPD spokesman. “During that time, he took her to a bedroom, pulled out his penis and told her to touch it. Then he forced her to give him oral sex.”
Precinct 4 Constable’s Office authorities learned of the charges against Hernandez, who has been with the agency since 2008, on Tuesday after receiving a phone call from San Antonio police. Hernandez was fired and taken into custody shortly before starting his shift.
Hernandez, who’s been with the agency since 2008, was aware of the investigation and had been interviewed by investigators, authorities said. Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman said Hernandez was indicted July 20.
Deputy Chief Jim Sumner said Hernandez received only one disciplinary action, the nature of which was not released, in the past three years.
He also received two or three commendations, one for helping find a missing elderly person and the other for helping out with shoplifters at a Target, Sumner said.
Before becoming a deputy constable, Hernandez worked as a Harris County jailer. He also was employed as a deputy and jailer by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office from December 2003 to May 2008, when he resigned, authorities said.
Hickman and Sumner said their officers handled Hernandez as if he were any other defendant.
“It’s not something you look forward to doing,” Sumner said of the arrest. “But you have to police your own just as you would police others.”