Elsinore man accused of engaging in sex acts with minor arraigned

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MURRIETA  - A 27-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a Lake Elsinore girl pleaded not guilty today to felony charges. Thomas Joseph Hernandez of Lake Elsinore was arrested earlier this year following a Riverside County Sheriff's Department investigation. Hernandez is charged with sexual penetration of a minor with a foreign object and contacting a minor with intent to commit a sex crime. He was arraigned before Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Dec. 1 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. The defendant is free on a $55,000 bond. According to sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Reese, investigators learned of the alleged illicit encounters between Hernandez and the victim, whose identity was not released, after unnamed parties alerted
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