Police search for woman accused of sexual assault - WSMV News 4

Police search for woman accused of sexual assault

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Ruffino Fernandez and Wilnelia David Ruffino Fernandez and Wilnelia David

Police in Hartford are looking for a woman who has been accused of bringing a 13-year-old girl to a local market to have sex with the owner in exchange for groceries and money.

Police said they are now searching for 29-year-old Wilnelia David, who is a friend of the girl's family.

Police said David brought the girl to the Keithbel Market on Zion Street where the owner, Ruffino Fernandez, sexually assaulted the girl several times last year.

Police said the sexual abuse took place over a four-to-five month period last fall in a basement area of the market.

The 13-year-old told investigators she had to perform sex acts on the convenience store owner four or five times.

Fernandez was arrested Wednesday and is now facing several charges.

Investigators used surveillance footage from the market to collaborate what the girl told police. 

Fernandez was first investigated in late December after a picture of him and girl surfaced on a witness's cell phone.

Keithbel Market was closed on Thursday.

Eyewitness News is on your side, and uncovered that the store has been in trouble in the past as well, for issues ranging from selling cigarettes to minors to liquor law violations.

"It's not the first time the store has been closed," Lucia Wilfred of Hartford.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News they were surprised to learn about the allegations against the store owner. 

"That's crazy," said Dwayne Edward of Hartford. "That's hard to believe because he's got a whole wife and everything, you know? I don't know I can't believe that."

Anyone with information is asked to call Hartford police as 860-722-TIPS (8477).

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