Harvard man accused of sexual assault of a child ordered to be held in McHenry County jail pretrial

Fernando Esquivel

A Harvard man accused of sexually assaulting a child he knew was detained Tuesday in the McHenry County jail pretrial.

Fernando Esquivel, 49, of the 300 block of Country Brook Lane, is charged with four counts of criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 18, a Class 1 felony, as well as criminal sexual abuse and grooming, according to the criminal complaint filed in McHenry County court.

Conviction on a Class 1 felony carries a prison term up to 15 years.

He is accused of assaulting or abusing the child between January 2022 and April 14 of this year, according to the complaint.

Esquivel appeared Tuesday before Judge Justin Hansen, who found that he was a “clear and present threat” to the alleged victim and that no conditions could mitigate the dangerousness, according to the order for pretrial detention.

In his order, Hansen noted that based on the prosecutor’s proffer, “the proof is evident and the presumption great” that Esquivel committed the offenses of which he is accused.

Hansen also wrote that the alleged victim provided “credible” and “specific” details regarding the alleged assaults and circumstances during a forensic interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center and in a 911 call. The child also submitted to an examination by a sexual assault nurse examiner, Hansen said.

The alleged assaults occurred “behind closed doors while he was supposedly caring” for the alleged victim, authorities said, or when they “were alone in a car,” Hansen said.

“It is notable that the victim did not report the incidents ... [but], rather, called 911 in the midst of [an alleged] assault earlier this month,” Hansen said.

The alleged victim also indicated that they feared Esquivel would kill them, the judge said.

“Therefore, the court finds that a no-contact order or stay-away orders, even if supplemented with GPS monitoring,” won’t mitigate “the real and present threat of danger,” Hansen wrote in the order denying Esquivel’s pretrial release.

Esquivel was appointed an assistant public defender at the hearing. His next court date is April 23.