Former Parker vice mayor Frank Hernandez was arraigned yesterday at around 1:30 p.m. for seven (7) counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor and three (3) counts of Molestation of a Child.
Hernandez was arrested last week and has been in custody at the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Facility since.
All of the alleged criminal conduct took place “on or about or between March 1, 2011 and April 10, 2012 in Parker, AZ”, according to La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman, whose office is handling the case.
Vederman also confirmed that the allegations involve a single victim of 12 years of age or younger. This classifies his case as a Dangerous Crime Against Children.
‘Sexual Conduct with a Minor’ is one of the most severe charges that can be leveled against someone in the state of Arizona besides First Degree Murder. It carries with it a presumptive sentence of 20 years per count (minimum 13 years per count) without the possibility of early release, and the sentences must be served consecutively (one after another). Hernandez is facing 7 counts.
Mr. Vederman declined to speculate on a sentence, saying: “There are many variables to sentencing and I am not going to comment or speculate on what the potential sentence may, or may not be, because Mr. Hendandez has not been convicted of any crimes related to this case.”
He also reiterated, “The State has the burden of proof and the defendant / suspect is not required to present any evidence on his own behalf or prove his innocence. In addition, all defendant’s / suspects are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial.”
Hernandez formerly held a seat on the Parker town council, and recently announced his intention to run for office as La Paz County Supervisor District 1.