FLORENCE — Police said a man accused of trying to rape a 15-year-old girl, who was spending the night with a family acquaintance at his residence, remains in jail.
Jeffery Joseph Hernandez, 37, 1100 Joe Wheeler Drive, Tuscumbia, is charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree sexual abuse and domestic violence harassment, police said.
Reports indicate Hernandez is accused of trying to rape the girl the morning of Sept. 22 at a residence in Florence.
Officials said the girl was spending the night and was asleep on the couch at the home where Hernandez lived at the time.
Reports indicate the girl woke up to find that Hernandez, who was not wearing clothes, had pulled the covers off her and was standing over her.
“Apparently, he had been asleep, got up and walked down the stairs naked,” Florence police detective Keith Johnson said.
Officials said the girl reported Hernandez asked her if she wanted to have sex and then started trying to undress her, touching her inappropriately.
Johnson said the girl fought off Hernandez and ran into the bathroom and locked the door.
“He started beating on the door screaming at her and then finally he apparently went back upstairs and went to bed,” Johnson said.
Police said another family member went to the girl’s aid, took her outside and called police.
Johnson said Hernandez was charged with domestic violence harassment when he threaten a young family member as he was being taken into custody.
Attempted first-degree rape is a Class B felony, which is punishable by 2-20 years in prison if convicted, while first-degree sexual abuse is a Class C felony and is punishable by 1-10 years in prison, if convicted.
Hernandez is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail totaling $75,000.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.