A Riverhead man has been indicted after attempting to bribe a minor with money in exchange for sexual acts.
On July 10, the victim and his father went to get haircuts at a barbershop owned by Hilario Hernandez de la Cruz, 35, in Riverhead. While the victim’s father was getting his haircut, Hernandez de la Cruz allegedly had several alcoholic beverages with him. When the boy’s father went to the bathroom, Hernandez de la Cruz proceeded to offer the boy increasing sums of money requesting him to perform inappropriate sexual acts. He allegedly made suggestive hand gestures and attempted to touch the boy’s genitals. The boy pushed his hands away and left the barbershop to call his mother to come pick him up. When he informed his mother what had happened, she contacted the police. Hernandez de la Cruz was then arrested by the Riverhead Police Department on July 11.
The victim’s father was also arrested, and has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
On July 25, Hernandez de la Cruz was arraigned on the indictment before County Court Judge Karen M. Wilutis on multiple charges, which include first-degree attempted criminal sexual act, first-degree attempted sexual abuse, third-degree criminal solicitation, and endangering the welfare of a child. Wilutis ordered Hernandez de la Cruz held on $75,000 cash, $150,000 bond, or $750,000 partially secured bond during the pendency of the case.
Hernandez de la Cruz is due back in court on August 30, 2023. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison followed by up to 15 years of post-release supervision.
“This defendant allegedly attempted to touch an eleven-year-old boy inappropriately and offered the child money to satisfy his own sexual desires. Thankfully, the victim knew what the defendant was allegedly asking him to do was wrong, and he left the shop to call for help,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. “We ask anyone who has been victimized by this defendant, or may have information about other victims, to contact the Riverhead Police Department as soon as possible.”