FORT MYERS, Fla. The mother of a missing San Carlos Park girl collapsed Monday after her testimony in Jorge Guerrero’s child pornography trial.
Rita Hernandez began sobbing moments before her collapse, which took place just as she was about to speak with reporters in the minutes after court recessed for the day. Hernandez was quickly helped to her feet and was able to leave the courthouse without assistance.
She testified in Spanish about what she called an affectionate relationship that had been developing between defendant Guerrero and Diana Alvarez, the missing girl. Guerrero is accused of possessing lewd images of Diana, who was 9 when she went missing nearly a year ago. He has not been charged in her disappearance.
The prosecution plans to show those photos to the jury on Tuesday. Prosecutors will also be allowed to show interrogation video of Guerrero admitting to a sexual relationship with Diana.
Guerrero lived in the family’s home on Unique Circle until May 2, 2016 — weeks before Diana went missing on May 29. Hernandez testified that she had trusted Guerrero, a former family friend, and opened her door to him as if he were a brother.
But Hernandez became concerned about the relationship between Guerrero and Diana. Hernandez made it clear to him that she didn’t find it appropriate when he hugged the girl, Hernandez said in court Monday.
Guerreo pleaded not guilty in June to charges of production and possession of child porn. He faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison on the production charge.