Man acquitted after being jailed for over 500 days

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Alez Ramos-Hernandez cleared

POUGHKEEPSIE – Pawling resident Alex Ramos-Hernandez was arrested in September of 2019 on felony charges of predatory sexual assault against a child and sexual assault along with the misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.  After more than 500 days in jail, he is a free man after being acquitted by a jury.

Ramos-Hernandez was unable to post his $2,500 bail after being arraigned on the charges of abusing his fiancé’s then-five-year-old daughter.  According to his attorney, James McEleney, a senior assistant Dutchess County public defender, the case was originally slated for trial in March of 2020 until the pandemic shut down the court system.  The courts reopened this year and Ramos-Hernandez faced a jury of his peers starting on April 2, 2021.

The case was prosecuted by the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office and was the first post-COVID trial in the county.

If convicted of the predatory sex assault charge, Ramos-Hernandez faced life in prison.  After hearing the evidence, County Court Judge Ned McLoughlin dismissed that charge.

The jury began deliberating the second felony charge and the misdemeanor on April 7.  On April 13, according to McEleney, the jury found his client not guilty of the felony sexual abuse charge and was unable to reach a decision on the misdemeanor.  Ramos-Hernandez was acquitted of the felony and a mistrial was declared on the misdemeanor charge.

After spending 565 days in the Dutchess County Jail, Ramos-Hernandez was set free that day.

The DA’s office said they have not decided if they will re-try the defendant on the misdemeanor charge.