Two men face charges of molesting young girls

ANDERSON — Authorities are holding two men at the Madison County Jail on suspicion of molesting two young girls.

Bond for 38-year-old Roman R. Hernandez, 3100 block of 18th Street, Anderson, and 19-year-old Armando Diaz-Ruiz, 1200 block of Maple Street, Anderson, was set at $20,000 each.

However, the Madison County Prosecutor’s office requested a 72-hour extension before conferring formal charges.

Anderson police began investigating the two men in May after the Department of Child Services conducted forensic interviews with two young girls at Kids Talk.

The two girls, both of whom are under the age of 10, said Hernandez allegedly molested them in 2017, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

Hernandez was dating the girls’ mother and living in their house.

The girls told investigators that Hernandez touched their breasts and crotch outside their clothes, and also made them touch his penis, according to the probable cause statement.

There was only one alleged incident with Diaz-Ruiz. A 9-year-old girl said she and other family members were driving home from Ohio in a van following spring break in 2017, according to the probable cause statement.

The girl and her sister were sitting in a back seat with Diaz-Ruiz when he tried to touch her crotch over her clothes. She pushed his hand away several times.

“She recalled telling her mother about the incident,” according to the probable cause statement. “According to the victim, her mother spoke to Armando and told her it would not happen again.”

When asked why she didn’t come forward sooner, the girl told investigators she was scared something would happen and began to cry, according to the probable cause statement.

Both men told Magistrate Judge Stephen Clase they were Mexican nationals and not U.S. citizens. Hernandez said he’d been in this country for 10 years; Diaz-Ruiz said he arrived in the United States two years ago.

Because they are undocumented immigrants, both men may be deported. Regardless of their immigration status, however, both men are entitled to legal representation by lawyers based in either Indianapolis or Chicago, Clase told them.

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