Taos, NM – A 29-year-old man was released by a judge twice after being arrested on rape charges and each time after his release the man was accused of raping other victims.
The three victims were ages 13, 5 and 19-months.
Raymond Hernandez was arrested Jan. 14 for sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s 13-year-old daughter, according to KOB. Hernandez was then released on a $10,000 bond by Judge Ernest Ortega with the only requirement that Hernandez had to wear a GPS ankle monitor.
Two days after his first arrest, Hernandez was arrested and charged with raping a 19-month-old girl who lived in the same house as the first rape victim, according to WPLG.
The second time, Judge Ortega released Hernandez on a $20,000 bail. The day after his second arrest, Hernandez was arrested and charged with raping a five-year-old girl who lived next door to the first two victims. After his third arrest, Hernandez was kept in jail. However, the Associated Press reported that the charges for raping the five-year-old girl were dismissed.
In the alleged rape of the 13-year-old girl, police said Hernandez gave the daughter and her friend alcohol.
The Associated Press reported that New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin said prosecutors didn’t ask a magistrate judge to hold Hernandez in the first two cases.
The Taos News reported that Judge Ortega recommended Hernandez be held without bond the day the case was filed. However, Judge Ortega ruled to release Hernandez on a $10,000 unsecured appearance bond because the District Attorney’s office didn’t argue to hold Hernandez.
“I’m speechless, he needs to pay and I hope the judge puts him behind bars and keep him there,” neighbor Gloria Lucero said, according to KOB.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said he suspects there are more victims of Hernandez.
The district attorney said that his office hopes to get an indictment before Hernandez sees a judge on Thursday, according to KOB.