Idaho inmate charged with felony assault of female Coal Hollow Fire base camp worker takes plea deal

Ruben Hernandez. Photos: Sanpete County; Utah Fire Info

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah, Dec. 26, (Gephardt Daily) — An Idaho prison inmate who was accused of assaulting a female base camp worker while assigned to help fight the Coal Hollow Fire in Utah has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Ruben Hernandez, 28, initially was charged with rape, a first-degree felony in the assault, which happened on Aug. 29 of this year, according to court documents.

Court documents filed on Dec. 26 indicate that Hernandez accepted a plea deal, and pleaded guilty to sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor.

Last summer, Hernandez was assigned to unspecified duties at the base camp that’s, in Indianola.

The victim told the officer that she was running a wash trailer for the fire base camp, and at about 10 a.m. that day, a man came in the trailer, flirting, and asked for her number. She said she gave him the number of a friend’s husband in hopes he would leave.

The woman said the man then requested a sexual act, “but she didn’t want to,” the statement says. The man then proceeded to rape her, according to the statement.

The woman told the officer “she did not scream or stop him because she knew he was a prisoner and did not want to get hurt ….”

After the woman reported what had happened, security guards lined up the prisoners, “and she picked the man out of the inmates as the one who raped her,” indicating Hernandez.

She was taken to the hospital for an examination, and Hernandez was arrested and booked into jail in Sanpete County.

Sentencing for Hernandez is scheduled for Jan. 30, 2019.

Information from the Idaho Department of Corrections indicates that Hernandez is serving time there for delivery of a controlled substance, and his release is scheduled for 2023.


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