MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman after reportedly posing as a rideshare driver bonded out of the Broward County jail on Friday.
Only CBS4 News was there as Fernando Hernandez walked out of jail. After embracing his wife of 10 years, he would not talk about the serious sex assault charges he faces.
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Hernandez is accused of illegally picking up the alleged victim at Miami International Airport on March 29. The woman was heading to a Miramar hotel for the night, ahead of an immigration hearing the next morning.
Investigators said Hernandez raped her in a parking lot in the backseat of an SUV near the hotel. Police said the woman did not consent to sex.
“Let’s be clear, the victim did not want this to happen. She told the suspect, the arrestee, on numerous occasions, no, take me to my hotel, take me to my hotel,” said Miramar Police Spokeswoman Tania Rues. When he offered her cash, “she told him she was not a prostitute and that’s when he raped her,” said Rues.
Hernandez’s attorney tried to tell the judge during his bond hearing that he’s innocent because the accuser has an ulterior motive.
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“If a person claims that they are a victim of a crime then they get immigration protection, potentially even the possibility of remaining in the United States for a long time or indefinitely,” defense attorney Bijan Sebastian Parwaresch said. “I think it’s clear that was her motivation.” Parwaresch claimed since the alleged victim is accused of entering the US without documents, and on her way to meet with immigrations officials, she had a motive to claim she was raped.
Prosecutors quickly refuted that.
“I object to that you honor. I don’t know what basis counsel has to make the argument. He doesn’t know what results of any of her hearings with ICE were,” said prosecutor Eric Linder.
“He took advantage of her. She was clearly saying ‘No,’” said Rues.
While police say no one else has accused Hernandez, they and rideshare companies urge customers to use a rideshare app to book rides because there are safeguards built in.
“Do not get into a car with someone that offers you a ride. She thought she was getting into a tax or Uber,” said Rues.
Investigators also say Hernandez has a previous arrest for an unrelated investigation and is on a list of solicitors who trespass at the airport posing as an Uber or taxi driver.
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CBS4 reached out to Uber to see if Hernandez was currently a driver with them or had been one in the past. A spokesperson said he was a driver with them, but on the day of the alleged incident, he was not logged on to the Uber app. They went on to say he had not been on the app since last year.