Joliet weekly newspaperman John Gabriel vowed to come up with the $10,000 needed to spring his much younger lady friend from jail, and he came through with the cash Thursday evening.
Gabriel's girlfriend, 32-year-old Margarita Hernandez, was released from the Will County jail after spending a week locked up
Hernandez was charged with setting up and consummating a sex date with a 15-year-old boy. Gabriel, 76, insists his live-in girlfriend was framed, possibly by a Romeoville cop he first claimed once shot a gun at him but then said only warned him to "stay the f--- out of Romeoville."
Gabriel has called for whoever set up his girlfriend to be "exposed."
Gabriel and Hernandez live together on Monmouth Drive on Joliet's far west side. They are both precinct committeemen for the Troy Township Democrats.
Hernandez carried on sexually with the teenage boy at the Monmouth Drive residence, police said. Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton said FBI agents searched the house as part of an investigation into the production of child pornography.
Hernandez's bond was first set at $250,000 but Judge Richard Schoenstedt dropped it to $100,000 during a Wednesday morning hearing. She only needed $10,000 of that to get out of jail. After the hearing, Gabriel said Hernandez had plenty saved up and that he would be able to post for her release.
Gabriel declined to comment Friday.