Last week, a Hemlock man waived his right to a preliminary hearing in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a young female relative, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Salvador T. Hernandez, 49, is accused of sexually assaulting a victim who is said to be a relative and who is now a teenager over a six-year time period. He is now headed to Circuit Court for trial.
Arraigned on the charges in August of this year, Hernandez’s attorney postponed the preliminary hearing indefinitely in order for his client to undergo a psychiatric exam to decide if Hernandez may be held criminally responsible, and whether he is mentally fit for trial. Saginaw County District Judge M.T. Thompson received a report from the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ypsilanti indicating that Hernandez is mentally competent to go to trial.
According to his arrest warrant, Hernandez is accused of sexually assaulting the female relative beginning in 2008 and through July of this year in Richland Township. He is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone younger than 13, and one count of first-degree CSC against a relative. First-degree criminal sexual conduct involves penetration, and carries a maximum prison term of life for those convicted.
Hernandez may now decide whether to plead guilty or no contest, not guilty and go to trial, or accept any plea agreements the prosecution may offer.
Sex crimes should be taken very seriously by anyone who is accused, under investigation, or has been arrested, as the criminal penalties are severe. Not only may those found guilty of sexual assault, rape, child pornography, or other crimes face substantial jail time or even life in prison depending on the circumstances, most will be required to register as sex offenders and therefore shunned by society for the rest of their lives. Sex offenders are also closely monitored by law enforcement and ordered to comply with certain restrictions in some cases.
If you have been accused of a sex offense, do not hesitate before contacting a seasoned Michigan sex crime defense attorney. Your freedom, future, and reputation are at risk; take action now to minimize the damage to your life.