Police officers play a vital role in keeping our communities safe. They are called upon in emergencies and to aid in the prevention of a crime. Unfortunately, some officers contribute to making the world a less safe place as they commit crimes and use their badge to cover up their unethical and illegal behavior.
Just last month the F.B.I. arrested Jesus Manuel Menocal Jr., 32, a police sergeant in Hialeah, FL. Menocal was arrested on federal charges that are connected to incidents that occurred in 2015. One of the incidents involved a minor who claims her rights were violated during her encounter with Menocal. The New York Times reported that the officer “ordered her to remove her shorts and underwear and turn around,” and did so “for his own sexual gratification.”
Menocal was also accused of “exposing his [genitals] to a woman, placing her hand on [them], and kissing her.” The indictment accused him of “the use and threatened use of a dangerous weapon.” That particular incident was said to have occurred sometime around January 1stand March 31, 2015. As if this wasn’t enough, Menocal was also accused of kidnapping a girl who at that time was only 17 years old. The officer allegedly threatened with the use of a dangerous weapon and was said to have been “acting under color of law.”
When an officer “acts under color of law,” it means their actions go beyond what the law permits them to actually do.
Civil Lawsuit is Filed Against Officer Menocal
As shocking as it may be to learn of such accusations made against a police sergeant, these weren’t the only instances where Menocal was accused of sexual abuse. In fact, a 21-year-old filed a lawsuit in October accusing Menocal of committing similar crimes. The news source says the woman was out with a friend in 2015 when Menocal stopped her vehicle and he took her into custody. He brought the girl, who was a minor at the time, to a police station and entered through the back door.
After getting inside, the woman alleges that Menocal ordered her to take off her clothes “while he touched himself and asked her questions about lesbianism.” Her lawsuit states that “There was no legitimate purpose for Menocal to take [the] plaintiff, an underage female, to this location” nor was there a purpose for him “to touch himself and ask [the] plaintiff to remove her clothing.” The lawsuit alleges Menocal “performed all these actions with [the] plaintiff against the wall and the door locked.”
Although the woman’s complaints were investigated back in 2015 by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, they declined to prosecute him in 2016. During that time, four other women had accused Menocal of sexually abusing them, but it turns out only one was interviewed by the state attorney’s office. Although Menocal managed to get out of facing criminal charges in the past, it seems time has caught up with him and he is now facing some rather serious charges.
Menocal was also relieved from his duties from the Hialeah Police Department after the arrest was made.
Did a Miami, FL police officer sexually abuse you?
If you have yet to come forward with your allegations, whether it is because you are fearful of what might happen once you file a complaint or lawsuit, it is best you consult with a Miami, FL police brutality lawyer. The conversation you have with a police brutality attorney can help you understand what your rights are and what forms of action you should take to combat the abuse. Remember, these conversations are kept confidential so anything that is said stays between you and your lawyer.
If you need help finding a local police brutality attorney in Miami, contact USAttorneys.com for assistance.