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Sexual assault suspect remains in jail on $230,000 bail

Pahrump Justice Court Judge Margaret Whitaker denied an own-recognizance release or a bail reduction for the Pahrump man accused of felony sex crimes with two children under 14.

Brian Patrick Hern II appeared in court on Thursday morning represented by Public Defender Nathan Gent, who requested the motion.

“Your honor, I spoke to state and I know they are going to oppose this,” Gent said. “Given the fact that he is a two-plus year resident and has been tied to the community for five years, we would ask for a bail reduction or an own-recognizance release. I know that these charges are severe, but I think in light of the fact that he’s not a danger to the community, we would ask for an own-recognizance release.”

Nye County Deputy District Attorney Daniel Young told Whittaker the state is strongly opposed to Hern’s release, while noting the defendant’s bail should actually be raised.

“Frankly, it’s a ridiculous request,” Young said. “I think the bail should probably be set at $250,000 per count. As the court is well aware, these charges are basically the most severe in the state of Nevada outside of murder and he absolutely is a danger to the community.”

Young also told Whittaker he believed the defendant would be a flight risk if released.

Whitaker denied Young’s request for raising the bail amount and opposed an own-recognizance release, while setting a preliminary hearing date for April 6, at 9 a.m.

Hern was arrested March 22 and charged with four counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14, two counts of child abuse, and lewdness with a minor under 14.

On March 16, Nye County Sheriff’s detectives opened their investigation on allegations of child molestation occurring in the Pahrump Valley after a sexual assault was initially reported to the Division of Child and Family Services and forwarded to NCSO detectives for further investigation.

According to a police report, the two juvenile victims, ages eight and 12, participated in a forensic interview at the Nye County Child Advocacy Center in Pahrump.

During the forensic interview the juvenile victims disclosed, in detail, four accounts of sexual assault by Hern, according to police. Detectives processed the Hern residence and found physical evidence that corroborated the victims’ statements.

The sheriff’s office patrol division located Hern at his place of employment and detained him.

Detectives interviewed Hern and subsequently placed him under arrest.

The investigation also revealed that the abuse had been occurring over approximately 18 months.

As the investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Brainard at (775) 751-7000.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Editor Arnold Knightly contributed to this story.

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