SAN BERNARDINO – A 59-year-old Upland man was sentenced to 106 years in prison for the continuous sexual abuse of a family member, who along with his older brother were placed in his care. The two boys were temporarily removed from the care of their parents and were placed with 59-year-old Mario Hernandez and his wife in their Upland home.
During their stay, the younger brother was sexually abused by Hernandez from the time he was three years old until he was 10-years old and he confided in a classmate. The young boy, now 12-years-old testified that the abuse began soon after he was placed in Hernandez’ home. The abuse continued through years of placement with the couple and escalated when the boy was 8-years-old according to court testimony.
According to Deputy District Attorney Karen Schmauss, who prosecuted the case, Hernandez withheld food and privileges from the victim unless he submitted to sexual acts, saying, “You owe me.” He would also refuse to sign the victim’s school planner if he failed to cooperate.
At times there were threats of harm to the young victim or his brother if he told anyone. In addition to the physical abuse, the boy told authorities that the defendant showed him pornography. “The victim’s 11-year-old brother told police that he had observed one incident of sodomy through the blinds that separated the boys’ room from the defendant’s room, and that he had heard the bed shaking another time,” said Schmauss.
Hernandez was convicted of five felony counts related to the sexual abuse on June 3, 2016. These counts included three counts of Sodomy with a Child Aged 10 or Younger, one count of Oral Copulation with a Child Aged 10 or Younger, and one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. Hernandez was sentenced to the maximum sentence under the state law due to the crimes showing a “high degree of cruelty, viciousness, and callousness,” Judge Stanford Reichert said.
“This defendant will never again hurt a child,” Schmauss said. “The victim has been returned to the custody of his father and stepmother and is doing well.”
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