LEADVILLE, CO. – Once a respected undersheriff with the the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Fernando Mendoza, was found guilty Monday of attempted aggravated incest and attempted invasion of privacy. The trial took several days with the 5th Judicial District jury finding the officer guilty of several charges. The jury acquitted Mendoza on multiple other charges including attempted sexual exploitation of a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and embezzlement. The conviction comes one year after the 49-year-old cop was arrested and accused of sexually harassing several dispatchers and engaging in sexual conduct with his stepdaughter.
Court documents reveal Mendoza began preying on his stepdaughter in 2012. At first he asked for naked photos of herself when she was just 14-years-old. The pedo-cop than upped the ante asking for pictures of her having sex with other people. When that didn’t suffice, the undersheriff took a camera from the sheriff’s office and installed it in the stepdaughter’s bathroom and bedroom to watch her.
Mendoza is already in hot water after facing allegations from three co-workers claiming sexual harassment at the hands of the undersheriff. The co-workers claim that Mendoza harassed them and continued to do so despite an investigation and pleas for it to stop.
Nicole Garner, along with two other women and a female victim’s advocate who works for the sheriff’s office, spoke to Denver7 about the alleged harassment after they said pleas to Sheriff Rodney Fenske fell on deaf ears, and when Fenske instead told the dispatchers they would be recorded 24/7 while on-duty for what he says is their own protection.
He is still facing two outstanding counts of official misconduct in another Lake County case. The cases were originally to be heard at the same time as part of the current case but many spoke against it. There is a hearing set in January 31, 2019 in those cases and on February 21, 2019 Mendoza is set to be sentenced for the allegations of rape and incest coupled with the attempted invasion of privacy.