Inmate working Coal Hollow Fire charged with assault of female base camp worker

Ruben Hernandez. Photos: Sanpete County; Utah Fire Info

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 1, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — An Idaho prison inmate assigned to help fight the Coal Hollow Fire in Utah has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman who worked at the base camp in Indianola.

Ruben Hernandez, 27, is charged with first-degree felony rape, and is being held without bail in the Sanpete County Jail.

According to a probable cause statement filed by a Sanpete County Sheriff’s officer, he was dispatched to the base and came just after noon on Thursday, and was told the rape suspect was being guarded by security.

The alleged 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.


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