AZTEC — A man accused of sexually assaulting five Farmington children over a 10-year period now faces a series of four trials related to the sexual abuse cases.
Humberto Hernandez, 42, is charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual penetration against a child under 13 years old and four counts of criminal sexual contact against a child under 13 years old. His victims, four girls and a boy, were between five and 11 years old when he assaulted them, according to affidavits for Hernandez's arrest.
Hernandez was arrested in April 2011 after a victim's mother came forward with allegations against him.
During interviews with police, three children -- a 9-year-old boy, and two girls, ages 5 and 9 -- told police that Hernandez assaulted them at his home on Goldenrod Trail in Farmington. The girls alleged that Hernandez had sex with them and the boy alleged molestation, according to court records.
Hernandez was arrested two days after the victim's mother came forward. He was originally charged with six felonies and prosecutors added five additional charges shortly after his arrest.
A month after Hernandez was arrested, two high school girls came forward and accused Hernandez of assaulting them when they were in elementary school, according to court documents. Those assaults allegedly happened at Hernandez's former address on West Animas Street in Farmington.
Hernandez was charged with three more counts of criminal sexual penetration against a child under 13 years old and one count of criminal sexual contact against a child under 13 years old. The victims told investigators they knew Hernandez's children and Hernandez would get his victims to play games with him when they were at his homes.
"During these games, the victims claimed they were sexually molested by Humberto," Farmington police Detective Jason Solomon wrote in the affidavit for Humberto's arrest.
Raymond Archambeau, Hernandez's original attorney, argued in a motion that not separating the crimes against each alleged victim would violate his client's right to a fair trial.
Archambeau argued that the allegations were separate incidents.
"None of the allegations for the charges involve situations where any of the alleged victims witnessed any of the crimes involving the other alleged victims," he said in his motion. "The danger is too great that the jury would convict Mr. Hernandez simply because he is a bad person with multiple allegations by multiple victims."
Chief District Judge John Dean ruled the cases would be tried separately, according to court documents. San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said the Hernandez will be tried separately for crimes against the three children whose allegations lead to Hernandez's original arrest. He said Hernandez will have another trial on the allegations made by the two high-school students.
Hernandez's initial trial was scheduled to start Feb. 25.
During a pretrial conference in district court on Monday, Shelby Bradley, Hernandez's attorney, said he would be filing a motion to move that trial date.
Hernandez, who does not speak English and requires a Spanish interpreter during court appearances, is being held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, on an $800,000 bond.
Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.