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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A Kern County judge has dismissed felony spousal abuse charges against a local correctional officer after it was discovered his girlfriend had lied about, among other things, being pregnant.
"None of it was true," defense attorney Kyle Humphrey said of the accusations against Alfred Joseph Hernandez.
Not only was there insufficient evidence to prosecute, he said, but Hernandez's girlfriend wasn't the most credible of witnesses. Humphrey said the girlfriend tried to make Hernandez stay with her after his arrest by sending him a picture of an ultrasound and claiming the baby was his.
Turned out the ultrasound was from a website called fakeababy.com.
The website -- which says its products are for entertainment purposes only and boasts the tagline "Why make a baby when you can fake a baby!" -- sells items including silicon fake pregnancy bellies, ultrasounds and sonograms.
Humphrey said the serial number on the ultrasound the girlfriend sent Hernandez matched the serial number of an ultrasound on the fakeababy.com site. Humphrey sent the findings to the prosecutor working the case and the judge, and the case was dismissed Friday.
"The consensus was that this person was not believable," Humphrey said.
From his client's perspective, the dismissal of charges "was like someone had lifted a tractor trailer off his foot," Humphrey said. It was important for Hernandez that people know he didn't commit the alleged crimes, he said.
Prosecutor Kim Richardson said there was insufficient evidence to go forward with the case, plus the victim no longer requested that Hernandez be prosecuted. The charges will not be re-filed, Richardson said.
A correctional officer at Corcoran State Prison, Hernandez was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. Humphrey said Hernandez is working to get his job back.
Hernandez, 43, had been charged with spousal abuse, false imprisonment with violence and threatening with the intent to terrorize.
Hernandez was arrested early Jan. 21 in the 12000 block of Cherry Valley Avenue in the northwest after Bakersfield police received a call reporting a woman screaming and sounds of a struggle. The girlfriend told police that she and Hernandez had been arguing and he refused to let her leave.
Police said the girlfriend told officers she called 911, and Hernandez grabbed the phone from her head and dragged her through the house before pinning her to the ground. The girlfriend told police that Hernandez choked her, pressed a pillow to her face and threatened to kill her.