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12:17 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

Ash Fork man arrested; years of child sexual abuse alleged

Suspect – an illegal immigrant – blames victim for instigating most of activity, police said

Rigoberto Mendez-Hernandez, 34, has been arrested for allegedly abusing a young girl over a several-year period.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office/Courtesy

Rigoberto Mendez-Hernandez, 34, has been arrested for allegedly abusing a young girl over a several-year period.

An Ash Fork man has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a child starting when she was 6 years old and continuing into her early teenage years.

Detectives with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) initially received information about the ongoing sexual abuse in September, YCSO reported. An investigation was launched, during which the victim, now a young teen, provided specific details of the abuse to specially-trained sexual assault investigators.

The suspect, Rigoberto Mendez-Hernandez, 34, had been a ‘trusted’ adult in the victim’s life, YCSO reported. During an interview on Tuesday, Oct. 16, he admitted to the years of abuse by blaming the victim for instigating a majority of the activity, said YCSO spokesperson Dwight D’Evelyn.

Mendez-Hernandez was taken into custody that day at his residence in the 47000 block of Third Street, Ash Fork. He was charged with sexual conduct with a minor and child molestation. He is being held without bond.

Following booking, a routine records check revealed Mendez-Hernandez was in the U.S. illegally. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement has, therefore, placed an Immigration Hold on him pending adjudication of the case.

Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein, email him at mefrein@prescottaz.com or call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105.