An Arizona resident pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually assaulting a woman on the Fort Mohave Indian Reservation in Laughlin, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
Richard Hernandez, 25, of Fort Mohave, Arizona, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II to one count of aggravated sexual abuse. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled on Jan. 14, 2021.
“Native American women have experienced unacceptably high rates of violence, including sexual assaults and physical attacks,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Our office will continue supporting and working closely with our tribal partners to bring perpetrators to justice, and increase public safety at all tribal communities within our district.”
According to court documents and admissions made in court by Hernandez, on or about Sept. 24, 2018, he hit a woman with his fists to coerce her to engage in a sexual act with him. As a result of the assault, the victim suffered multiple facial abrasions and contusions, ear pain, bleeding to the head, and loss of consciousness with a concussion, all of which required medical treatment at a hospital.
Hernandez faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and Fort Mohave Tribal Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bianca Pucci and Penelope Brady are prosecuting the case.