SALT LAKE CITY — An inmate serving a prison sentence in Idaho who was brought to Utah as part of a work crew to help battle the Coal Hollow Fire is accused of raping a woman at the fire's base camp.
Ruben Hernandez, 27, was charged Friday in 6th District Court in Sanpete County with rape, a first-degree felony. Charging documents list his home address as being with the St. Anthony Work Camp in St. Anthony, Idaho.
A woman at the Coal Hollow Fire base camp near Indianola reported the attack on Wednesday. According to charging documents, she said that Hernandez had recently been flirting with her.
"Around 10 a.m. as she was inside the wash trailer sitting on her lawn chair and watching a movie, this man came over to the trailer and came inside through the door. (She) said that he had come over to the trailer a lot today and had been flirting with her," the charges state.
The woman said she gave Hernandez the number of her friend's husband "to get him off her back," according to court documents.
That's when Hernandez assaulted the woman, the charges state.
The woman told police "that she did not scream or stop him because she knew he was a prisoner and did not want to get hurt by the prisoner," according to court documents.
She added that while being raped, "she froze and did not know what to do," the charges state.
After the alleged attack, Hernandez walked away and the woman contacted security guards at the base camp. The inmates from the work crew were lined up and the woman pointed Hernandez out, according to court documents.
The woman was sent to a local hospital for an examination.
A spokeswoman for the fire declined comment on the rape allegation Friday, referring all calls to the Sanpete County Sheriff's Office.
The Coal Hollow Fire, ignited by lightning in early August, has burned nearly 30,000 acres near Spanish Fork. Officials expect the fire to be fully contained Saturday.