Police: Suspects sexually assaulted young family member and her friends

Updated:

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. —

Investigators think two men were preying on young girls and sexually abusing them in Seminole County.

Police said Julio Hernandez-Rodriguez, 27, of Altamonte Springs, and his cousin, Marcos Maceira-Ramos, 21, of Orlando, took advantage of one of the suspect's relatives and then began luring her friends.

Hernandez-Rodriguez and Maceira-Ramos are both charged with multiple counts of sexual assault on victims under the age of 12. The two were taken into custody on Monday.

At this time, three victims have been identified, police said.

Investigators believe most of the abuse happened at the home of one of Hernandez-Rodriguez's relatives and that the abuse involving Hernandez-Rodriguez allegedly began when the girl was in first grade.

Altamonte Springs police said the 11-year-old girl was brave enough to come forward at school last week, prompting the investigation that connected suspects and victims.

Maceira-Ramos' wife, Karina Garcia, told Channel 9 her husband talked to detectives for a couple of hours on Monday, drove off with them and never came home.

"He goes to work, comes home, goes to work, comes home. That's his life, supporting his family," she said.

Garcia said she hasn’t had a chance to talk to her husband since his arrest.

"We had a one-minute conversation yesterday around 2 in the morning," she said.

Garcia told Channel 9 she was abused when she was a girl, so she knows what child predators look like and she said her husband is not one of them.

"It's hard to see my husband being accused of something like this, because I can relate to it so much and I am still not over it," said Garcia. "I'm trying to forget what happened and it's like it's happening all over again."

Both suspects are being held in the Seminole County Jail without bond.

Altamonte Springs detectives believe there could be more victims and are urging anyone with additional information to contact Detective Milt Humphreys at 407-571-8273.