Last week, 23-year-old Aurelio Hernandez-Gomez was jailed on charges of criminal sexual conduct in connection with a 13-year-old girl who had been missing out of Florida. On Friday, July 10, Hernandez-Gomez was arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct; he also has felony arrest warrants out of Florida for interference with child custody and kidnapping.
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Dept. deputies investigated a residence in Hartford Township and being contacted by Polk County authorities seeking their assistance in the case of the missing girl. Authorities believed she was with Hernandez-Gomez, which turned out to be the case. When deputies searched the residence along with the Pokagon Tribal and Cover Township police departments, the girl and suspect were found hiding. After investigating further, deputies determined that the girl had been sexually assaulted by the suspect.
The suspect admitted to deputies that he had come into the US illegally, and was from Chiapas, Mexico. Arrangements were underway at the time of news reports to reunite the teen with her parents in Florida; she was temporarily placed in the custody of CPS.
No bond was issued in the case, and Hernandez-Gomez remained in the Van Buren County Jail awaiting extradition to Florida.
Kidnapping is a very serious charge, however the sexual assault of a 13-year-old child will have lasting repercussions for anyone found guilty. In Michigan, a person may be charged with third-degree CSC when sexual penetration occurs, and any one of several conditions are met. One of those conditions is that the alleged victim is between 13 and 16 years of age. A conviction may result in a maximum of 15 years in prison. In addition, those found guilty will be required to register as a sex offender, perhaps the worst punishment of all. Sex offenders are shunned by society, and have a very difficult time obtaining employment. Many experience difficulty finding a place to live. Anyone who so desires can find out that you are a sex offender, where you live, and more simply by searching online.
Regardless of your situation, if you have been charged with criminal sexual conduct of any degree or are under investigation you must contact a skilled Michigan sex crimes attorney immediately. Your freedom and reputation literally hang in the balance; your entire future is at risk. Contact a seasoned defense lawyer now.