Gainesville man acquitted in child molestation case

·1 min read

Sep. 22—A Gainesville man was acquitted Wednesday, Sept. 21, of child molestation allegations after a trial in Hall County Superior Court.

Jose Hernandez Jr., 31, was charged in a formal accusation in September 2021 with two counts of child molestation. The allegations were that he touched a young girl in early 2017, and Hernandez was originally arrested at his workplace in February 2020.

Hernandez's attorney Blake Poole said the girl's story did not add up and lacked credibility.

"It changed from the very first time she made the outcry, the second time she was interviewed and her testimony on the stand," Poole said. "All three recitations of her story, each of those times it varied."

Poole said there were inconsistencies in the timeline of events.

"What remained consistent was that it happened when she was in third grade in 2017, and we just were able to show that was mathematically impossible," Poole said.

The jury deliberated for two hours Wednesday before returning its verdict of not guilty.

"While juries don't always do what we as prosecutors ask, we will always do all we can to hold molesters accountable for their actions for the protection of and support of child victims," Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said in a statement.