A New Braunfels man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting his stepdaughter over about a five-year period told jurors Friday he believes the victim is “making up” the allegations.
Johnny Hernandez, 53, said he doesn’t know why his stepdaughter, now 30 years old, would lie about the alleged abuse but maintained his innocence.
Hernandez had been in jail 781 days before his trial began on Monday.
“It’s been a nightmare,” he said to jurors of his time in jail and the trial.
Prosecutor Steve DeLemos, assistant district attorney, maintains that sexual abuse took place between 1990 and 1995 at Hernandez’s home with his stepdaughter.
The victim alleges her stepfather repeatedly sexually abused her thousands of times, often when her mother was at work and her two younger sisters were outside, or asleep.
The victim told Comal County Sheriff’s Office detectives about the alleged abuse two years ago. Soon after, deputies arrested Hernandez, a construction worker.
Hernandez told jurors there was unrest in the house stemming from his work, which often kept him working long hours or traveling out-of-state.
He described his stepdaughter as occasionally acting “controlling and manipulative” as a teenager before she ran away from home at 16 years old.
The victim told jurors Tuesday that she was afraid of her stepfather and “did not dare” tell anyone of alleged abuse for fear of punishment.
Attorneys are expected to give closing arguments Monday in the 207th district court with Judge Gary Steel presiding.