A former substitute teacher accused in a child molestation case had been located in Mexico but the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office chose not to try to extradite him because he was not facing a molestation charge at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times.
George Hernandez was arrested for indecent exposure in September 2010 near Gage Middle School, but bailed out of jail, skipped a court hearing and fled to Mexico, officials said.
The LA Times reports that prosecutors chose not to seek his extradition even after they found through a bailbondsman he was in Jalisco, Mexico.
"We have evaluated the case and have determined that we will not seek the defendant's international extradition from Mexico on this case at this time," Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Huntsman wrote, according to the LA Times. "The case will remain open and the defendant is still subject to prosecution in this case."
Sanford Jossen, the attorney representing the mother of one of George Hernandez’s alleged victims, tells NBC4 he has videotape evidence of a molestation of his client by the suspect.
He said the DA’s decision seems like a “failure of communication.”
“Apparently they hadn’t identified my client and enhanced the charges at the time he was initially charged,” Jossen said during a segment Sunday on NBC4.
Hernandez was investigated three times for sexual misconduct with students before quitting his substitute teaching job in the LAUSD in June 2007 and moving to the Inglewood Unified School District, according to The Times.
Hernandez, 45, was never arrested or charged in connection with the LAUSD cases, according to the Times report. He taught as a substitute in that district for about three years before police discovered a videotape that shows him allegedly molesting a young female student, according to Huntington Park police.
Jossen, a child abuse attorney, said it’s difficult to pursue these prosecutions because they’re “he said, she said” and there isn’t any forensic evidence.
Hernandez was employed by the Inglewood School District as a substitute teacher at the time of the videotape discovery, police said.
Huntington Park police this week released information about the investigation involving Hernandez in September 2010 that began with a report of indecent exposure near Gage Middle School.
On Hernandez’s computer, police found "a large quantity of child pornography" that included video of the suspect allegedly engaging in lewd conduct with a student, according to the sheriff's department.
The case is one in series of lewd conduct investigations in the LAUSD, including the accusations against two former Miramonte Elementary School teachers.