Ex-cop who forced women into sex acts takes plea deal

By Calley Hair

March 5 (UPI) -- A former police officer in Hialeah, Fla., pleaded guilty to three counts of depriving women of their constitutional rights by sexually abusing them, the U.S. Justice Department announced Saturday.

Jesús Menocal Jr., 34, admitted to committing a series of abuses while on-duty and wearing his uniform during a change of plea hearing, the Justice Department said in a statement.


Menocal said he coerced a woman walking alone into oral and vaginal sex, made another woman in the midst of a psychiatric crisis perform oral sex on him, exposed his penis to a third woman and caused her to touch it, and brought a fourth woman to the Hialeah Police Department to make her strip off her clothes.

Under the terms of the plea deal, he could receive a maximum of three years in prison for the misdemeanor charges and would not be required to register with the state as a sex offender -- a significant reduction from the life sentence he originally faced.


His attorneys, Jude Faccidomo and Mycki Ratzan, said after his guilty plea that he "wanted to put this behind him" and "move on with his life," the Miami Herald reported.

Menocal was originally arrested in 2019, one month after the Herald reported that he'd been using his badge to pressure women and underage girls into sex acts while on duty. The complaints traced back to 2014 and involved victims as young as 14.

Security footage shows Menocal repeatedly bringing women and girls into a police substation and taking them to rooms not covered by the surveillance systems, according to court documents.

Menocal detained 11 women during a one-month period between May and June 2015, the documents read. He didn't file any paperwork on the encounters, which is a violation of policy.

"All of these incidents occurred on the weekend or after 5 p.m.," prosecutors wrote in court documents.

Menocal was suspended without pay during a state attorney's investigation and an internal affairs probe but wasn't fired from the force until December 2019, more than four years after the first complaints surfaced.

Sources told the Miami Herald that prosecutors had worried about building a case on the testimony of Menocal's victims, including a few former sex workers, who could have been discredited during cross-examination on the witness stand.


Menocal "betrayed his oath as a police officer and cast a dark shadow over the outstanding work done by the fine law enforcement professionals who serve our communities," said U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida.

John Bernard, an FBI assistant special agent in charge, said Menocal "disgraced the badge he once wore by using his status as a police officer to sexually abuse women."

"His actions are depraved and serve only to diminish the hard work and professionalism of the vast majority of South Florida law enforcement officers who follow their oath of office and whose conduct is above reproach," Bernard said.

Menocal, whose sentencing is scheduled for May 12, is blocked from reapplying to any other law enforcement position as a condition of his plea deal. However, his misdemeanor conviction would not prevent him from possessing a gun or resuming work in the firearms training school owned by his family.

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