File photo.
File photo.

A state appellate court panel Thursday rejected an appeal from a convicted rapist who was found guilty of threatening a fellow church member in Alhambra.

A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal turned down the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence that former Rosemead resident Frank Hernandez, now 66, threatened the woman on Sept. 12, 2013.

“(The) victim’s testimony alone was substantial evidence defendant threatened her: Victim testified defendant unequivocally verbally threatened her life while brandishing a firearm and physically touching her. There is no evidence in the record, and no argument by defendant, that defendant’s words were hyperbole, unintentional, or in jest,” the appellate court panel found in a 12-page ruling.

At the time of the crime, Hernandez was on parole in a rape case and had been ordered to wear a GPS monitor, Deputy District Attorney David Ayvazian said after the verdict.

Hernandez — who had cut off his ankle bracelet — convinced a woman from church to meet him at an Alhambra coffee shop, then tried to push his way into her vehicle and threatened to kill her, authorities said.

Two good Samaritans called 911 and came to the woman’s aid after witnessing the confrontation. Hernandez was arrested a few hours later at his home.

Hernandez — serving a 40-year-to-life state prison sentence — was convicted in June 2014 of one felony count of making criminal threats.

Hernandez admitted prior convictions for robbery, rape and kidnapping between 1978 and 1992, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

—City News Service

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