A Dallas County jury heard testimony in the trial of an Irving school custodian who raped and impregnated his 13-year-old family member. He is also accused of letting the newborn baby die in a porta-potty.
It took the jury less than 10 minutes to deliberate before it convicted Mauricio Hernandez, 54. Hernandez was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, reported Dallas News.
Jurors heard the testimony to determine Hernandez’s punishment in the court. He faces five years to life in prison though he also faces a related capital murder charge for abandoning the baby.
Hernandez raped the girl and gave her pills to terminate the pregnancy when she was eight months pregnant. Prosecutor Sherre Thomas said the girl was born in El Salvador and moved to the U.S. to be with her mother, whom she had not known for the first years of her life. Hernandez acted as a father figure to the girl, the prosecutor said.
Thomas also said Hernandez told the girl she would go to jail if anyone found out they had sex. “This eighth-grader sat alone in a pickup truck. An eighth-grader, whose body shouldn't even have a child. And she struggled,” Thomas said. Hernandez was reportedly playing soccer with the girl’s younger brother while she sat in the truck with cramps.
As the cramps became more severe, she went to the portable toilet and gave birth to the baby, who would be named Brianna. According to the police report, she heard a “large plop,” looking into the waste tank and saw a “small hand in the blue water.” Police say Hernandez did not try to retrieve the newborn because he was afraid to get into trouble.
The girl cleaned herself up and returned to the truck. Officers found the body covered in paper towels in the toilet. The baby was pronounced dead, but the medical examiner said that it was born alive but drowned in the toilet, Dallas News reports.
Hernandez’s defense lawyer Andy Beach said that the case “screams out for moral outrage,” but that his client is a remorseful father of two who worked hard his entire life.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons