Annapolis, Md. – Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that Rene Hernandez-Gomez, 34, of Glen Burnie was sentenced to 15 years suspend all but seven years for sex abuse of a minor. The defendant was convicted by a jury of the charges on September 30, 2021.
“As parents we must be cautious in who we bring into our homes and have meaningful conversations with our children to prevent them from being manipulated and coerced by predatory adults,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “The defendant used bribery to pursue and sexually assault a minor and for that, he has been held accountable. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, tell someone or call the Sexual Assault Crisis Center and Hotline at 410-222-6800.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Combs prosecuted this case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.
On October 17, 2019, family members of the victim went to the Maryland State Police Glen Burnie Barrack to report that the aunt’s male partner, who lived in the basement of the same residence, had sexually assaulted a 15-year-old family member. During the investigation, police officers learned that the victim had her cellphone taken away from her by mother as punishment. The victim asked the defendant, identified as Rene Hernandez-Gomez, to purchase her a cellphone without her mother’s approval and consent. The defendant agreed to purchase the cellphone but only if he and the minor could be friends with benefits. The minor agreed but never had any intentions to do anything with the defendant. During the investigation, authorities learned that in early September 2019, the victim stated that she was in the kitchen of the home preparing food with her grandmother when the defendant inappropriately grabbed her, and began to grope and kiss her. The grandmother didn’t hear the commotion due to her age and health.
On October 13, 2019, the victim’s stepfather went into her room to wake her up for church only to find a red cellphone in her bed. The stepfather exited the room and spoke with the victim’s sister who confirmed that the cellphone was confiscated by their mother and was unaware of the red cellphone. The victim admitted that the defendant purchased the cellphone for her three weeks ago. The victim’s sister looked through the phone and saw the number of the defendant under the name, Fer, and observed inappropriate text messages between the victim and the defendant.
During a one party consent phone call, the defendant admitted to the groping incident and told the minor victim that he would end the relationship with her aunt so they could be together even though he knew his actions were illegal and inappropriate.
The Honorable William C. Mulford presided over the case.