A man who raped his girlfriend’s two daughters while she was in bed with them won’t have a chance to molest another child.
Alberto P. Hernandez, 55, was sentenced Tuesday to life without parole by a Franklin County judge who expressed outrage at the crimes.
“Given the horrifying nature of your acts, the repeated nature of your acts, the fact that it involved multiple victims, I find that a sentence of life without parole is the appropriate sentence,” Common Pleas Judge Chris Brown told him. “My sole intention is that you never be released from prison.”
On Friday, a jury convicted Hernandez of four counts of rape, two for each girl, after a trial in which he, the mother and the girls testified.
The girls, who were 8 and 13 when the abuse occurred between June 2014 and February 2015, tearfully described how they were raped in their North Linden home while their mother watched and did nothing to stop it.
Life without parole was a sentencing option because one of the victims was younger than 10.
Assistant Prosecutor Robert Letson recommended the sentence, telling the judge, “You have the power to ensure that this man never victimizes a child again.”
Hernandez, who testified that he had no sexual contact with the girls, maintained his innocence before he was sentenced.
“I’m not guilty,” he told the judge through a Spanish-language interpreter.
“I don’t believe you for a second,” Brown replied.
The judge said Hernandez’s testimony was “short, vague and filled with lies.” In contrast, he said, the testimony of the girls was “detailed, in depth, sincere, heartbreaking.”
He commended the girls, who did not attend the sentencing hearing, for the “courage and bravery they showed. It took a lot for them to come in here and testify against the monster who raped them repeatedly.”
Hernandez took the case to trial after rejecting a plea offer that included a 25-year prison sentence.
Defense attorney Christopher Cooper told the judge that he had difficulty communicating with his client about the consequences of going to trial.
“I don’t know if the language presented a barrier in understanding the gravity of the situation,” he said.
Hernandez, who was born in the Republic of Honduras, used an interpreter throughout the trial, despite testifying that he has been in the United States for 36 years.
Hernandez lived with the girls and their mother on Atwood Terrace, where they often shared a bed, according to testimony. The mother, Tracy Glover, testified that she had a history of mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction, was sexually abused as a child and had been the victim of domestic violence by a number of the men in her life, including Hernandez.
Glover, 44, pleaded guilty in January to two counts of rape for her complicity and agreed to testify against Hernandez in a plea agreement. Prosecuting and defense attorneys have recommended a 10-year sentence for her. She is scheduled to be sentenced by Brown on June 6.