Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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August 1, 2013

TRIAL: A documented immigrant laborer alleged to have 'continually' molested his girlfriend's two young daughters is sentenced by a jury to 62 years in prison without parole.

JACKSONVILLE — RUSK – A documented immigrant worker who has lived in the United States for several years was found guilty by a jury Wednesday and sentenced to 62 years in prison without parole for the continuous molestation of two young girls.

Laborer Oscar Hernandez, currently in his late 30s, was convicted on a first degree count of “Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child or Children.” He is alleged to have abused these two girls, now 14 and 16, as far back as 2008. He was living with them and their mother – his girlfriend – at the time.

“Applicable law requires that the defendant serve his sentence without the possibility of parole,” according to a statement issued by District Attorney Rachel L. Patton.

The defendant also faces a $10,000 fine, court documents show.

Hernandez has decided to appeal the conviction. An appeals attorney will be appointed at some point in the near future, according to Hernandez's court-appointed defense attorney, Jack Sheridan of Rusk.

Getting the judge to appoint a new attorney is a very standard legal maneuver in appeals, Sheridan explained.

“He wanted to appeal the sentence because of the severity of the punishment,” Sheridan explained.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Dwight Phifer of Cherokee County's Second Judicial District Court, according to the DA statement.

The molestation is alleged to have taken place while Hernandez and his girlfriend split their time between Cherokee and Smith County.

Hernandez is a native of Mexico, but resides legally in America and possesses a green card, his attorney said.

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