A 34-year-old man pleaded guilty Wednesday to sending sexually explicit text messages to a young teen girl and trying to get her to join a satanic cult.
Misael Urieta Hernandez of Pasco was sentenced in Benton County Superior Court to three months in jail.
He entered an Alford plea, which means he denied committing the crime but thought prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
Kennewick police got word of the crime after the girl's mother reported seeing her daughter sending messages to someone in July and asked to see her phone, court documents stated.
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The mother found sexually explicit texts from Urieta Hernandez to the girl, documents stated. The messages asked the girl about her sexual activities and preferences and encouraged her to join the cult.
The mother knew Urieta Hernandez, the owner and operator of an ice cream truck, and drove to his home to confront him.
The woman told Kennewick officers that Urieta Hernandez admitted sending the texts and said "he could not recruit his own children into the occult because they were Catholic," court documents stated.
When police went to talk to Urieta Hernandez, he only acknowledged having control of the phone at the time the messages were sent but refused to answer any further questions, documents stated.
Urieta Hernandez was ordered to have no contact with the victim for five years.
Richland man gets a year in jail for stealing shirt after earlier stay
A Richland man is going back to jail for a year after admitting he stole a shirt during his last jail stay and pushed an officer who was trying to stop him.
Gerald Alan Hyde, 21, was sentenced one week after pleading guilty to third-degree assault, a felony, resisting arrest, a gross misdemeanor, and third-degree theft, a misdemeanor.
Hyde had been facing up to one year and four months in prison, but the court agreed to give him an exceptional sentence below the standard range for the jail time.
According to court documents, Hyde was released Sept. 8 from the Benton County jail after serving a 10-month sentence for second-degree escape.
He walked out wearing a shirt that was jail property and was stopped by Benton County Corrections Officer Bob Mancillas, who informed Hyde he would be arrested for the theft. Hyde then pushed Mancillas to the ground, injuring the officer's knee, documents stated.
Hyde ran from the county jail toward the Toyota Center but was stopped and handcuffed by two other officers. But he once again got away and ran into the Toyota Center, where he hid under a manager's desk, court documents stated.
After refusing to come out, Hyde was pulled out from under the desk by Benton County sheriff's Detective Sgt. Dan McCary. Officers discovered Hyde had slipped his hand out of one cuff, which had to be reattached.
Hyde's criminal history includes convictions for first-degree malicious mischief, second-degree escape and two each for drug possession and theft of a firearm.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org