2 more men arrested in Twin Falls police online predator investigation
TWIN FALLS — Two more men have been charged in a local police investigation to catch sexual predators online.
Eric Larone Williams of Twin Falls and Fernando Hernandez of Jerome were both arraigned on Tuesday on one count each of enticing a child through the internet or other communication device. The charges come after four other men were arrested over the weekend in the same joint investigation between Homeland Security and the Twin Falls Police Department.
Williams, 22, was arrested Monday after attempting to meet up with an officer posing online as a 14-year-old girl, according to a police affidavit.
The officer began talking to Williams through the social media site “Skout,” according to the affidavit. The two engaged in a sexual text message conversation, in which Williams said he didn’t “make a habit” of having sex with underage girls but felt that “this one time wont hurt.”
He was taken into custody when he showed up at a decoy address provided to him by the officer. Williams admitted to police after he was arrested that he had texted a 14-year-old girl and was going to the house to have sex with her, according to the affidavit.
Hernandez, 28, was arrested after he began talking to an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old boy on the app Grindr, according to court documents.
The officer and Hernandez had a conversation about sexual preferences, according to an affidavit, and when the officer asked Hernandez if he was going to engage in certain sex acts with him, Hernandez said, “Sure.”
Like Williams, Hernandez was taken into custody when he arrived at a decoy address given to him by the officer. At first, he denied to police that he was going to have sex with the 15-year-old, according to the affidavit, but later admitted that he had gone to the house to have sex with the boy.
Preliminary hearings for both Williams and Hernandez are scheduled for April 19. Both men were jailed on a $150,000 bond.