FLORENCE — Grand jury indictments have been issued for a man police said tried to rape a 15-year-old girl who was spending the night at a family acquaintance’s residence where the man was living at the time.
Courthouse officials said Jeffery Joseph Hernandez, 37, 1100 Joe Wheeler Drive, Tuscumbia, was indicted on first-degree attempted rape, first-degree sexual abuse and domestic violence third-degree harassment.
Reports indicate Hernandez is accused of trying to rape the girl the morning of Sept. 22 at a residence in Florence.
Authorities said the girl was asleep on the couch and awoke to see Hernandez standing over her. He was reportedly naked at the time.
Florence police detective Keith Johnson said Hernandez had apparently gone to bed in an upstairs’ bedroom and later walked down the stairs naked.
Officials said the girl told detectives that Hernandez pulled the covers off her and asked her if she wanted to have sex. He then started trying to undress her and began touching her inappropriately.
Reports indicate the girl fought off Hernandez and ran into the bathroom and locked the door.
“She said he started beating on the bathroom door screaming at her and finally he apparently went back upstairs and went to bed,” Johnson said.
Police said another family member went to the girl’s aid, took her outside and called police.
Johnson said the domestic violence third-degree harassment charge was added when Hernandez threatened a young family member as he was being taken into custody.
Attempted first-degree rape is a Class B felony, which is punishable by 2-20 years in prison if convicted. First-degree sexual abuse is a Class C felony and punishable by 1-10 years in prison, if convicted.
Hernandez is out of jail on bail totaling $56,000.
A trial date has not been scheduled.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.