ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage man is under arrest, accused of sexually abusing a former girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter and trying to sexually abuse the 14-year-old daughter of another former girlfriend, authorities said Monday.
Ralph Hernandez, 49, contacted the teen’s mother last week, promising to rekindle their relationship if she let him have sex with the girl, police said. The mother called police, who launched a sting that led to his arrest early Saturday morning. Police also investigated Hernandez last year, but allegations that he touched the same girl between her breasts did not rise to the level of criminal sexual conduct, police Det. Leonard Torres said.
“This has been a long time coming for (the woman) and her daughter,” he said.
Police believe there are at least three young victims, all the daughters of former girlfriends, according to Torres.
“That’s his M.O.,” he said.
In addition, police have launched two new child sex abuse investigations against Hernandez involving two separate and different potential victims, according to Torres.
Hernandez is charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor stemming from an earlier investigation, and one count of attempted sexual abuse of a minor in the latest case.
It was not immediately clear if Hernandez has an attorney. He was in custody without bail Monday.
Working with police, the woman met with Hernandez on Thursday, and he gave her a sleeping pill to give to her daughter to ease the assault, according to police. Hernandez told the woman to get condoms and lubricant as well, police said.
The following day, Hernandez contacted the woman and told her to give the teen some cold medicine on top of the pill to make sure she was sedated enough, police said.
That night, Hernandez met the woman at a restaurant near her home while undercover officers kept surveillance, police said. The woman told Hernandez she had sedated the girl, and he walked to the home, where he found a SWAT team waiting for him, police said.
Hernandez reacted with “shock and surprise,” Torres said.
The girl was staying with a local relative.
In July, police began investigating the case involving the 9-year-old girl. The girl’s mother had dated Hernandez but did not know he was molesting the child, police said. The girl disclosed the alleged abuse.
“Usually these suspects have multiple victims before they get caught,” Det. Cindi Stanton said at an afternoon news conference. “Children oftentimes will go years without disclosing sexual abuse because they don’t feel comfortable yet to disclose.”
Hernandez has been on the police department’s radar since 2007, when he was charged in a child sex abuse case involving the daughter of another former girlfriend, Torres said. That case was dismissed.