Hermiston Man Faces Sexual Assault Charges Involving Teenager

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A Hermiston man is in jail on charges of sex abuse and harassment involving a 16-year-old female student.

Joel Cardenas
Joel Cardenas

Hermiston police arrested Joel Cardenas, 35, on Wednesday and charged with first- and third-degree sexual assault and harassment.

According to Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston, the Hermiston Police Department received a call on Aug. 28 around 7 p.m. of a 16-year-old female high school athlete who reported to have been accosted a couple hours earlier by an unknown male while she was doing a practice run in the area of S.W. Seventh Street and W. Quince Avenue.

Around 10 p.m. that night, the Hermiston Police Department pushed information out to the public on its Facebook page. That page was shared 540 times and over 32,000 people are believed to have viewed the information describing the unknown male as approximately 5’9” tall, with facial hair, noticeable tattoos, and driving a dark colored Toyota Prius.

The department concluded its investigation on Wednesday with the arrest of Cardenas, 990 W. Juniper Ave.

“This incident was very unfortunate for the victim, witnesses, members of this department and the entire Hermiston community,” said Edmiston. “The actions of Mr. Cardenas are not indicative of what Hermiston normally experiences crime-wise, as our violent crime experience historically, is lower than like-sized cities. We believe there is a strong likelihood Mr. Cardenas has demonstrated this behavior in other incidents. If anyone has additional information or concern, they are encouraged to call 541-567-5519 and ask for the investigation unit.”