A Hialeah, Fla., police sergeant, the son of a former police chief, has been suspended following allegations of sexual abuse from a young lesbian couple pulled over at a routine traffic stop, reports Miami news station WSVN.
The couple, who have asked not to be identified, say that Sgt. Jesus Menocal, Jr. pulled them over for making a U-Turn near a police substation Saturday, and detained them for questioning. The couple say Menocal, Jr. told one girl, 17, to get into the back of his police car and the other, 20, to follow behind in her car.
When they arrived at the substation, Menocal, Jr. allegedly took the teen from his car inside to a private room and began asking inappropriate questions.
The young woman says Menocal, Jr. then put one hand below his weapon belt and began rubbing his genitals over his pants. Detained without charge, the teen says at this point she feared she would be arrested and jailed for no reason. “He put me in a room, he told me I was going to be with investigators,” she explained tearfully to WSVN. “And out of nowhere, there’s no one in the office.”
She alleges Menocal, Jr. then told her “to take off my pants or I was going to get arrested,” according ot Miami NBC-affiliate WQAM. She says she complied, removing her shorts. “He said let me see your behind. He looks me up and down and asked me if I was on my menstrual. I told him, ‘Yes, how did you know?’ And he said he was asking me a simple question.”
The teen says she then put her shorts back on and the officer asked her to show him her tattoos. “He wanted me to take off my shirt and my bra together, and I told him, ‘No. Why do I have to do that? There’s no reason to do that,'” she continued. “Then he said, ‘Oh I thought you wanted to fuck,” she told WSVN.
“Honestly, I thought I was going to get raped. I thought he would make me sleep with him,” she said.
According to the teen, Menocal, Jr. released her fifteen minutes later to her worried girlfriend who was waiting outside in the police substation parking lot. The pair told WSVN that they were never informed why they were detained, but that Menocal, Jr. allegedly said he was a “cool guy” and would let them go. The alleged victim’s girlfriend added that she was concerned Menocal, Jr. had sexually abused other teen girls in his custody.
The couple immediately filed a police report about the incident, according to WQAM. They have now retained legal counsel.
Sunday, the day after the alleged sexual assault, Menocal, Jr. was suspended with pay while the Hialeah Police Department began an investigation into the couple’s allegations. Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velázquez and Hialeah police leaders met with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Monday to coordinate the delivery of evidence for the investigation, reports the Miami Herald.
“Very serious allegations were made, which require a methodical, detailed and thorough examination of all statements and evidence,” said the Hialeah Police Department in a statement. “This is a very delicate road … and we seek to be impartial,” Velázquez added to the Herald. “Our job is to get to the bottom of this. If it is proven that there is wrongdoing, the appropriate decision will be taken. Otherwise, he will return to work.”
Neither Jesus Menocal, Jr. nor his father Jesus Menocal, Sr., who retired last month as police chief in nearby Sweetwater, Fla., have made a public statement about the case. Menocal, Jr.’s grandmother Migdalia Camejo, however, told WQAM that her grandson is, “an exceptional person. And as a police office, he’s officer of the month. This will all get cleared up.”
Meanwhile, the lesbian couple at the center of this case told WQAM they can no longer trust police officers. “I’m terrified of the police right now,” said the alleged victim.
Source: The Advocate