Santa Ana Police Department & Orange County District Attorney Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Case # 13CF0803, 13CF0322: March 13, 2013
SANTA ANA – A foster mother will be arraigned tomorrow for being an accessory to her husband’s rape of a child under their care. Maria Esther Hernandez, 59, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. She is being held on $20,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Thursday, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Felipe Hernandez, 66, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of aggravated sexual assault, one felony count of forcible lewd act on a child under 14 years old, three felony counts of lewd act upon a child under 14 years old, two felony counts of lewd act upon a child, one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse, one felony count of oral copulation of a minor, one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object of minor, one felony count of possession and control of child pornography, and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery with sentencing enhancement allegations for multiple victims and substantial sexual conduct with a child. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 65 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. He is being held on $1,000,000 bail and is scheduled for pre-trial, April 22, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Crime
At the time of the crimes, the victims were living in the defendants’ home as foster children. Felipe Hernandez and Maria Hernandez are accused of violating their position of trust.
On one occasion between Feb. 1, 2006, and March 31, 2006, Felipe Hernandez is accused of molesting and raping 9-year-old Jane Doe #1 by force.
Between Jan. 1, 2009, and Aug. 21, 2012, Felipe Hernandez is accused of conducting lewd acts on 15-year-old Jane Doe #2. On multiple occasions, Felipe Hernandez is accused of touching Jane Doe #2’s breasts and buttocks over and underneath the victim’s clothes. On one occasion, Felipe Hernandez is accused of orally copulating Jane Doe #2.
Felipe Hernandez is accused of threatening Jane Doe #2 that he would not provide her with any money and other privileges if she did not comply with his sexual demands and threatened to take away Jane Doe #2’s cell phone and laptop.
On several occasions between Dec. 4, 2006, and Aug. 21, 2012, Felipe Hernandez is accused of raping 11-year-old Jane Doe #3 from the time she was 11 until 16 years old. In the summer of 2012, Maria Hernandez is accused of seeing Felipe Hernandez raping Jane Doe #3. Maria Hernandez is accused of cutting Jane Doe #3’s hair and threatening the victim to lie about the incident. Maria Hernandez is accused of lying to the other family members about the rape and encouraging them to repeat her lie to social workers and law enforcement.
In the summer of 2012, a family member of the defendant discovered a memory card containing a video of Felipe Hernandez touching Jane Doe #2 on her buttocks and anus and reported it to the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), who is investigating this case.
Felipe Hernandez was arrested by SAPD on Feb. 1, 2013. Maria Hernandez was arrested by SAPD yesterday, March 12, 2013.
If convicted, Felipe Hernandez’s lifetime sex offender registration will bar him from entering County recreational areas and City parks which have passed the Sex Offender Ordinance. Visit www.orangecountyda.com to read the prior press releases on the County’s Sex Offender Ordinance as well as the 14 other cities that have enacted the Child Safety Zone Ordinance.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 347-8794 or SAPD Detective Ed Zaragoza (714) 245-8386.
Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.
Contact: Cpl. Anthony Bertagna
Public Information Officer
Santa Ana Police Department
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Orange County District Attorney
Orange County District Attorney