LDS missionary serving in Utah County faces rape charge

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (ABC4) — A 19-year-old missionary with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Utah County was booked on a first-degree felony rape charge, according to court documents.

Police with the Saratoga Springs Police Department said they were called to a home near 700 West and Blue Mountain Drive on Saturday, May 11. The caller reportedly told police a neighbor had sexually assaulted her sister.

Officers reported finding Abraham Issac Cruz Hernandez standing in the driveway when they arrived.

Hernandez allegedly told the police he and the victim were alone together in the garage when the two started “making out,” before having sex. Hernandez reportedly refused to answer any further questions from police after being read his rights.

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The victim, whose age and identity have not been disclosed, told police Hernandez had forcibly grabbed her and performed sexual acts without her consent.

Police took Hernandez into custody and booked him into Utah County Jail on the aforementioned first-degree felony rape charge as well as first-degree felony forcible sodomy and misdemeanor sexual battery.

According to court documents, Hernandez was in Utah County serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In a statement provided to ABC4, the Church said it is cooperating fully with law enforcement in their investigation.

“This individual was immediately removed from his volunteer missionary service as soon as the Church learned of these very serious and troubling allegations,” the statement read. “Missionaries are expected to abide by the highest standards and those who do not will be released and sent home, and in situations involving criminal allegations, also face loss of Church membership.”

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