Canyon Lake-area resident Stephen Hernandez, 61, received two life sentences on March 3 for the aggravated sexual assault of a child and sexual assault of a child.
Judge Stephanie Bascon with the 207th District Court in New Braunfels stacked Hernandez’s sentences after the jury returned a verdict of life in prison. Hernandez must complete his first life sentence before beginning the second.
The incidents occurred in 2015 and 2016. In March 2016, the Mountain Valley Middle School student, then 14, reported the abuse. She said it began in 2011. The victim is now 20-years-old.
Hernandez was convicted of sexually molesting another 11-year-old girl in Maryland in 1993.
The victim testified that Hernandez, who is related to her, began sexually abusing her when she was 11-years-old and living in Iowa. The abuse continued when they moved to Katy, Texas then later when they lived in Canyon Lake.
In addition to learning about Hernandez’s 1993 conviction, jurors heard testimony from outcry witnesses, detectives who investigated the case, and the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE).
“These types of cases are difficult, and our office is grateful to the jury for their time and thoughtful deliberation in returning a just verdict for the victim,” Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp said on Facebook today. “We are also thankful to the victim, who made the brave decision to come forward to report and face Hernandez in court. Thanks to her tremendous courage, Stephen Hernandez will never have the opportunity to. prey on or abuse another child again.”
Comal County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Frazier prosecuted Hernandez, who was represented by defense lawyer James McDermott.