Woodstock couple charged in child rape case

Eduardo Fernandez

WOODSTOCK – Authorities in Tennessee have accused a Woodstock man of raping a child and filed related charges against his wife.

The defendants, Eduardo Fernandez, 34, and Debra Fernandez, 32, of 137 Valley Vista Drive, are being held in jail in Sullivan County, Tennessee, after authorities arrested them Aug. 31. The arrest came after law enforcement officials investigated a report on Aug. 18 that a child had been raped inside a vehicle at a state park in June.

Eduardo Fernandez has been charged with child rape. He is being held on $150,000 bond.

Authorities said Debra Fernandez knew of the incident but did not report it and tampered with evidence. She is being held on $40,000 bond. She is charged with failing to report a rape and evidence tampering.

Court documents in Shenandoah County Circuit Court show that Debra Fernandez entered an Alford plea of guilty in January to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. An Alford plea allows a defendant to maintain her innocence while acknowledging the prosecution has enough evidence to obtain a conviction.

Debra Fernandez

Court records show Debra Fernandez was arrested in Woodstock in June 2014 after Woodstock police found her drunk at about 2 a.m. at a store at 443 W. Reservoir Road. A preliminary breath test showed her blood alcohol level at .16. The legal limit in Virginia is .08. Her two children, ages 2 and 3 at the time, were in the vehicle she had been driving.

The court records also show that Debra Fernandez last appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Aug. 5 when Judge Dennis L. Hupp, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Louis Campola and defense attorney Peter McDermott verified that she had completed a parenting class in February that was part of her plea agreement.

Fernandez also served a 20-day jail sentence and is serving one year of supervised probation under terms of the plea agreement.

Campola said he was uncertain how his office will respond to the new charges against Debra Fernandez.

“I don’t know what’s going on, and I haven’t talked to Tennessee yet,” Campola said.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com