Judge denies dismissal in sex crimes case against former ‘Most Wanted’ fugitive

Published: December 6, 2021 5:13 PM EST
Updated: December 6, 2021 6:10 PM EST

According to the girl’s mother, a young girl who said a man raped her multiple times has taken her story back, but when the mother shared that in court on Monday, it didn’t play out as the defense expected.

Manuel Hernandez Hernandez is facing charges of rape of a 12-year-old girl. He was arrested earlier this year after spending more than a year as one of Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted fugitives.

The defense filed a motion to dismiss the case based on a letter saying that the girl lied. The judge said he heard a lot of speculation, but not much proof.

In court on Monday, the victim’s mother took the stand and said her daughter lied about the attack. She told the court that her daughter wrote a letter admitting to lying and felt guilty about what is happening to Hernandez.

The mother told the court that the letter said, “it was a boy from school. and she also said that – the reason why she didn’t want to blame the boy was because she didn’t want rumors to go around in school.”

But that wasn’t enough to sway the judge who ruled, “the motion to dismiss as filed on October 29, against the defendant in this matter is denied. There is no legal basis on which relief can be granted. At best, the letter, reportedly written by the victim in this matter, is impeachment. It has not been proffered as evidence, authenticated, or any other evidentiary basis. What we have is a dispute and that is the fundamental crux of trials.”

The prosecutor told the court that the state’s worried the mother might have influenced her daughter to recant her original story.

A trial date has not been set for Hernandez.