The October session of the Brown County Grand Jury returned indictments alleging sex offenses against a Brownwood pastor, a May teen and a Bangs man in unrelated cases.

Those indicted, according to documents in Brown County District Clerk Cheryl Jones’ office, were:

• Fernando Hernandez, 50, continuous sexual abuse of young child or children.

• Austin McAbee, 17, possession or promotion of child pornography (five counts), sexual performance by a child, unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material (two counts) and sexual assault (two counts).

• Austin McGee, 20, possession or promotion of child pornography.

Fernando Hernandez

Hernandez, the pastor of It’s a Challenge Church in Brownwood, was arrested in July on warrants charging him with continuous sexual abuse of a child and indecency with a child, authorities said earlier.

Hernandez told Texas Ranger Jason Shea he did not sexually assault anyone, a complaint filed by Shea in the Brown County Courthouse stated.

According to the complaint:
Shea was contacted in June by District Attorney Micheal Murray’s office regarding allegations of offenses committed against two child victims.

Hernandez was arrested a short time later on another indecency with a child case that was first reported to authorities in 2010.

Hernandez was living in Plainview in 2010 when a young teenage girl made an outcry of sexual assault, Shea’s complaint states. The alleged assault happened in Brownwood and the girl identified Hernandez as the suspect.

The girl was interviewed by a forensic interviewer at the CPS office in Plainview — the last event documented in the Plainview and Brownwood police reports, Shea’s complaint states.

Shea contacted the alleged victim — who is now a young adult — and the young woman said she would assist in the investigation. The woman said “nothing has changed and she is still very upset about the incident,” Shea’s complaint states.

Hernandez is free on bonds totaling $200,000.

Austin McAbee

McAbee was arrested in September, initially on charges of possession of child pornograpahy.

According to a complaint filed by sheriff’s investigator Leighton Wyatt:
Wyatt was assigned a case in September involving threats to share nude photographs of a juvenile female to the public,  including the girl’s family. Deputies obtained a search warrant and seized a cell phone.

Wyatt saw text messages in which the phone’s owner said he would send out photos of the girl if she did not continue sexual activity with him, and if she did not provide him with nude photos of other juvenile females in the locker room at her school, Wyatt’s complaint states.

The phone also contained six additional photos depicting two juvenile females, Wyatt’s complaint states.

The grand jury returned a total of four indictments alleging that:

• McAbee possessed five photos on his phone that depicted a child under 18 engaging in sexual conduct.

• McAbee induced a child under 18 to engage in sexual performance, namely, a video of the child engaging in sexual conduct or sexual performance.

• McAbee threatened to disclose photos or videos, and made the threat to obtain sexual conduct from the child as well as photos of other girls, in exchange for not making the disclosure.

• McAbee committed two offenses of sexual assault against the child.

McAbee remains jailed in lieu of bonds totaling $210,000.

Austin McGee

An investigation into a runaway female juvenile led to the discovery of child pornography images phone, leading to McGee’s arrest, sheriff’s officials said earlier.

According to a complaint filed by sheriff’s investigator Leighton Wyatt:
Wyatt responded in May to a report of a runaway juvenile in the Lake Brownwood area. Abilene police located the girl in Abilene.


Wyatt interviewed the girl when she returned to Brown County, and the girl said she ran away because of her shame of being sexually active with a male. The girl said she sent nude photos of herself to the male, identified as McGee, via text message and social media at the male’s request.


The girl gave the names of other juveniles who sent nude photos to the male, the complaint states.
McGee surrendered his cell phone, which investigators searched after obtaining a search warrant. A forensic download revealed multiple photos of nude females, and two victims were able to be identified.
McGee is free on bonds totaling $20,000.