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Man charged in OH child rapes also suspected of illegally crossing US-Mexico border five times

Members of the Clovis, N.M., Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team handcuff a U.S. airman during a hostile threat exercise at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., June 20, 2012. (Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece/U.S. Air Force)

A 41-year-old man accused of raping two children over a five-year period in Cleveland is also suspected of illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border multiple times, authorities said.

Rafael Hernandez, who is listed in court records as having an address in Middlefield in Geauga County, is charged with rape in connection with multiple incidents that happened from Jan. 1, 2008 to Jan. 1, 2013, according to court records.

Court documents say he raped two children at an address in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood. Both children were under the age of 13.

Geauga County Sheriff’s deputies and Middlefield police officers arrested Hernandez on Wednesday, the same day investigators obtained a warrant for his arrest. Geauga County Sheriff’s Lt. John Hiscox directed questions about the arrest to Cleveland police.

The sheriff’s office said Hernandez is suspected of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas five times, but did not provide any additional information.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman could not immediately provide any more details about Hernandez when reached by phone Friday afternoon.

Hernandez was booked into the Geauga County Jail but has since been turned over to Cleveland police, Hiscox said. His first appearance in Cleveland Municipal Court has not yet been scheduled.


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