PD: Tempe church worker accused of sexual abuse of young teenage girl

Brandon Osorio Hernandez.jpg
Posted at 11:23 AM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 20:22:18-04

TEMPE, AZ — A worker at the Latter-Day Saints Church in Tempe is accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in the church's chapel.

Tempe police report that on May 24, they arrested Brandon Osorio Hernandez, 20, for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.

Police were alerted by the victim's mother.

Court records show that Hernandez has known the girl for several years, but in the past few months, they began communicating on Snapchat. Their conversations turned sexual, with them exchanging sexually explicit photos of themselves, police say.

The victim later told police that she didn't want to lose Hernandez as a friend, so she sent the requested photos. Police say she told them, "she sent so many photographs, she lost count."

On two occasions, Hernandez allegedly fondled the girl while in the chapel at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints near McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue.

Court records said Hernandez is "currently a youth minister at his church and works with teenagers every week." However, in a statement to ABC15 on Friday, the Latter-Day Saints Church in Utah said Hernandez "was serving as a secretary to a young men's group (not a leadership position) in the local congregation and has been removed from any role associated with young people."

Upon his arrest, Hernandez allegedly admitted to sending and receiving nude pictures with the victim.

However, as far as the sexual conduct, Hernandez blamed the victim, saying she was the aggressor and he tried to stop her.

Hernandez posted a $150,000 bond and is facing charges of sexual conduct with a minor and sexual abuse.