Man accused of sexually assaulting step-granddaughter at school headed to prison 

A man arrested last year after allegedly sexually assaulting his 8-year-old step-granddaughter at a Mission district elementary school is to go to prison for 12 years after pleading guilty Monday to continuous sexual abuse of a minor.

Pedro Hernandez, 69, was arrested at a San Bruno homeless shelter on June 10, a week after police said an employee at the girl’s school, Sanchez Elementary, witnessed Hernandez sexually assaulting the girl in a stairwell. Police said a video surveillance camera recorded the acts.

Police and prosecutors said Hernandez, who collected recycling for a living, had married the girl’s grandmother but they later separated. He arrived at the school to bring the girl lunch when the alleged assault occurred, police said.

After fleeing the area, police said Hernandez shaved his moustache and cut his hair, and members of his family helped get him a motel room in Daly City.

He was believed to be headed to Mexico, where he was originally from, but investigators located him in San Bruno by tracking his phone records, prosecutors said.

Hernandez had been charged with multiple counts, including continuous sexual assault of a minor, and sexual intercourse and oral copulation with a child, and had been facing up to life in prison. He entered the plea in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday as part of a negotiated disposition between prosecutors and the defense.

“It’s just very sad,” Hernandez’s attorney Jose Umali said Tuesday. “Nobody’s happy.”

Sentencing is scheduled for April 12.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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