Felix Manuel Hernandez of Hallandale Beach, Florida was arrested Tuesday for allegedly inappropriately touching an 8-year-old girl, news sources report. Hernandez, 71, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on a single count of lewd or lascivious molestation. A judge ordered that he be held without bail bond. The press did not specify an attorney for Hernandez.
Reports say the incident occurred last year. Sources did not specify any relationship, familial or otherwise, between Hernandez and the victim. It is also not clear where the alleged assaults took place. What is known is that Hernandez allegedly inappropriately touched the clothed victim on four different instances.
The details of what occurred are somewhat murky. Hernandez initially said that nothing sexual had occurred between himself and the victim, but allegedly later changed that story, saying he might of touched the girl by mistake while reaching behind her. The girl could only recall two incidents of inappropriate contact during questioning, sources indicate, but did indicate that the contact had not been accidental. “[Hernandez] changed his story several times and at one point he admitted to one instance, that’s the reason we only have one charge at this time, he admitted to one particular incident where he did say that he improperly touched her, over the clothing,” a police report reportedly says.
Hernandez is not the only Broward County man accused of sexual misconduct with a child recently. Kelley Cooper, a 46-year-old HIV positive man from Dania, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly kidnapping and raping a 10-year-old boy, reports say. Cooper, 46, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on one count of kidnapping, two counts of sexual battery on a child, lewd or lascivious molestation, and criminal transmission of HIV. He is being held without bail and it is unclear whether he hired legal representation.
According to reports, Cooper and the victim were both at a party. Sources say Cooper took the victim from the party and transported him to his son’s home. There, Cooper allegedly trapped the boy in a bedroom and sexually assaulted him. Cooper apparently released the victim following the alleged assault.
Following his arrest, Cooper admitted to police that he has had HIV for the past eight years, reports say. It is currently unclear whether Cooper has transmitted HIV to the victim, though, based on the charges, he might have.
“The court is concerned that you have perhaps given this child a death sentence and it’s reckless, it appears to be reckless, intentional and without absolutely any care for this child’s life,” a Broward County Judge said. “The court believes you represent a danger to the community.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV is an incurable virus most commonly spread through sexual contact. The HIV virus causes AIDS, a disease that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim susceptible to other ailments. Unprotected anal intercourse is more likely to spread the virus than any other form of copulation, CDC says. In 2006, around 56,000 people in the U.S. contracted HIV, records show.