Accused Rapist "Innocent With All Charges," Family Says - NBC Chicago

Accused Rapist "Innocent With All Charges," Family Says

Vicente Hernandez accused of taking part in alleged gang rape of teen girl



    Vicente Hernandez, one of the males accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, appears to flip the middle finger and throw up gang signs to reporters while being driven out of Stickney Police headquarters. (Published Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011)

    Family members of a man accused of taking part in the video-recorded gang-rape of a 14-year-old girl are defending the man, saying they can't believe the father of two young girls had anything to do with the crime.

    "He doesn't need to be going with no young female at all, and if the police did see the videos, which they said they seen and they couldn't watch it, they will see that the girl wanted to do what she wanted. There was no force," said Felix Hernandez.

    But Stickney police say Hernandez's brother, 22-year-old Vicente Hernandez, and three other teens took turns sexually assaulting the girl over the weekend.

    "It's very alarming to see what occurred, and let alone the fact that it occurred but they decided to film it and retain those films," said Detective Sgt. Rich Jaczak.

    Vicente, along with 16-year-old Alex Picallo, 18-year-old Majeed Khalifeh and 19-year-old Jonathan Leanos all face two counts of aggravated criminal assault.

    No one at Leanos' home wanted to comment Thursday evening, but neighbors said police have been called there in the past.

    "The police would get called and 10 minutes before the police would get there, they'd be gone," said one neighbor.

    At Morton West High School, former classmates said they remembered the boys video-recording school fights.

    "They were play-fighting, but it was just really funny because they do that. They'd, like, record each other like that. It's really sick," said Denise Avala.

    And while it appeared that Hernandez flipped his middle finger and flashed gang signs to reporters as he was driven to court Thursday, his family still stands behind him.

    "My cousin is innocent with all charges. He's a hardworking man that works to support his family," said Hernandez's cousin, Tony Hernandez.

    Hernandez was ordered held on $600,000 bond.