MID-WILSHIRE—Detectives in the Los Angeles area have recently posted a picture of 47-year-old suspect Jorge Fernandez, and are searching for young people who may have been victims of harassment.
Fernandez, who resides in downtown Los Angeles, was arrested by detectives from the Central Police Station on Friday, March 5, and was booked on a charge of Lewd Acts with a Child. The suspect’s bail was set at $100,000.
“We believe the case we are investigating may be just one of several other crimes against children,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, Commanding Officer of the Central Detective Division. According to Lt. Vernon, Fernandez was also arrested for a similar act back in 2008, and pled guilty to battery and willful cruelty to a child.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, an unidentified mother and her 10-year-old daughter walked into an office at 634 South Spring St. about three years ago to enroll her daughter in a Mexican civic program, which was operated by Fernandez at the time. After meeting the young girl, Fernandez and his wife quickly invited her to stay overnight at their downtown Los Angeles home in order to play with Fernandez’s young daughter.
The LAPD said on their Blog site that according to the victim, now 13, Fernandez fondled the girl on three occasions over the next several months.
Both the mother and daughter, who moved to another state, flew to California to report the crime against Fernandez last January. The unidentified teenager revealed the information during a counseling session.
“The mother and daughter felt compelled to come all this way to make this report,” said Lt. Vernon. “Given the prior similar acts and conviction, as well as Fernandez’s apparent frequent contact with children, we thought it would be prudent to release his photograph to help identify other victims.”
According to the LAPD, Fernandez is a self-described Hispanic community organizer who promotes self-help improvement services for Latinos. The suspect has also been affiliated with the Conte Mexicano Civico Patriotico in Huntington Park.