PINEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - In a surprise move, a Connecticut man pleads guilty to charges that he took a 14-year-old Bell County girl to another state.
A Bell County grand jury recently indicted David Hernandez, 51, on custodial interference charges.
Monday morning during one of his first court appearances, he pleaded guilty.
David Hernandez told the judge he was guilty of the custodial interference charge.
"Do you admit you committed the acts charged in the indictment?" Judge Robert Costanzo asked. "Yes," Hernandez answered. "Do you plead guilty from your own free will because you are guilty?" the Judge asked. "Yes," Hernandez answered.
Bell County Sheriff's Deputies say on January 2nd, Hernandez took a 14-year-old girl from Pineville back to his home in New Britain, Connecticut.
Hernandez says the girl had an online relationship with his teenage son, but the Sheriff says he took her without her parents knowledge.
"I hope this sends a message that if you come into Bell County and bother our children, we're going to get you," said Sheriff Bruce Bennett.
Bell County Commonwealth's Attorney Karen Greene Blondell recommended a probated five year sentence. He will also get credit for jail time already served. The girl's parents agreed with the recommended sentence.
Hernandez also agreed to pay $2,900 to the Bell County Fiscal Court to reimburse the costs of bringing him from Connecticut to Bell County to face the charges.
After court, Hernandez turned down our request for an interview, but during a jailhouse interview with WYMT in January, he said he was sorry.
"My intention was not to hurt her or anybody in this town in Kentucky, and I really apologize to her dad and her mom and also her family," Hernandez said on January 18th, 2013.
Formal sentencing is scheduled for April 1st.