Thursday, March 1, 2001
Child Molestation Suspect Caught
West Los Angeles - A 30-year-old Carson man was arrested on Tuesday, February 27, 2001, when he went to the 14-year-old child’s father’s residence in the West Los Angeles Area. Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit arrested Umberto Hernandez when Hernandez went to meet the child for an afternoon sexual encounter at her father’s residence.
In November 2000, the 14-year-old victim was using the Internet at her home in Boise Idaho, when Hernandez sent her a message. Hernandez selected the victim after searching through the member profiles of people using the chat rooms. After conversing on-line, Hernandez arranged for a meeting with the victim when she went to Los Angeles to visit relatives during Christmas vacation.
During the middle of the night on New Year’s Eve, the suspect enticed the victim to meet outside the residence in his van. It was during this meeting that several sex acts occurred.
Upon returning to her home in Boise, Idaho, the victim revealed what had occurred to authorities at her school. Notifications were made to the local police department and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Detectives with the Sexually Exploited Child Unit assumed the Internet identity of the victim and continued to converse with Hernandez in the chat rooms. Hernandez arranged to meet the child for the second time when she was to return to Los Angeles.
On the day of the meeting, Hernandez was supposed to wait outside of the apartment until the victim’s father left. At the prearranged time, Hernandez knocked on the apartment door and was met by detectives instead of the victim. Once in custody, search warrants were served on his home in Compton, and work in Carson. Evidence of the crimes was seized at each location.
Hernandez was booked at Jail Division on February 27, 2001. On March 1, 2001, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Mohamed Derzaph filed six felony counts relating to child molestation and set the bail at $250, 000. A preliminary hearing date is pending.
For further information, please contact Detective Dale Barraclough, Sexually Exploited Child Unit at 213-485-2883.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section 213-485-3586.