General Crime

* Rene Hernandez, Suspect Linked To Watsonville Rape Through DNA Arraigned

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A 26-year-old Watsonville man was arraigned today in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on multiple felony counts in connection with a rape last February, an assistant district attorney said.Rene Hernandez is accused of attacking and raping a 56-year-old woman in the area of East Lake and Wagner avenues on the night of Feb. 11, 2009. Police arrested him outside of his home Monday after his DNA sample in the Combined DNA Index System matched the DNA sample taken from the victim. Hernandez faces one count of kidnapping for the purpose of rape, one count of forcible rape, one count of forcible sexual penetration, one count of robbery, one count of assault with internet to commit rape, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.Two enhancements were also filed against Hernandez,including rape after kidnapping for purposes of rape,which carries a sentence of 25 years to life, and rape in the course of a kidnapping, which carries a 15-years-to-life sentence, assistant district attorney Andrew Isaac said. If convicted of all charges, Hernandez faces a possible maximum sentence of 42 years to life.He is expected to enter a plea on Jan. 22.Hernandez remains at Santa Cruz County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. Isaac said Hernandez had recently returned from Mexico and isconsidered a flight risk.

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