Officer Accused Of Molesting Girls During Traffic Stop
MIAMI – (CBS4) -A Miami-Dade Police officer is behind bars accused of fondling two teenage girls as he conducted a routine traffic stop.
Juan Carlos Rodriguez, 24, appeared before a bond court judge Friday charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child between the ages of 12 and 16.
The judge set Rodriguez’s bond amount at $150,000 bond.
“They’re going to remain at $75,000 each count,” she said. “Total of $150,000.”
But Rodriguez’s lawyer tried to get a lower bond. The judge denied him his request.
“I find probable cause,” the judge said. “And based on the nature of the offense and the condition that the defendant was in at the time of the alleged offenses I’m going to keep the bond at $150,000.”
But there was one last plea from Rodriguez for a lower bond when he was asked if he understood.
“Yes ma’am,” he said to the judge. “There’s no way you can lower it?”
The judge said, “good luck, sir.”According to the arrest warrant, Rodriguez conducted a traffic stop on January 7th at 10:30 p.m. at Southwest 88th Street and 157th Avenue. The warrant states Rodriguez ordered the driver of the car to pull behind a CVS drug store. He ordered all the passengers out of the car and then called back each person separately to sit inside the car.
Police say the first person he called back into the car was a 14-year-old girl whom he’s accused of fondling by placing “his hands inside Victim 1’s bra and fondled her breasts.”
The second girl was also 14 and Rodriguez is accused of performing similar sexual acts on her. Two other young girls – both 16 years old – also made similar allegations.
Police say they interviewed the 19-year-old male driver of the car who said he did not see Rodriguez fondle the girls. He did state that the officer called “each of these females separately to the back of the car,” according to the warrant.
The warrant says other allegation against Rodriguez surfaced including a claim by a 20-year-old woman who stated that “he ordered her to lift up her shirt and expose her breasts.”
The warrant concludes that Rodriguez’s actions were “not done in accord with police protocol, and served no legitimate police purposes. Rather, his conduct demonstrated that his touching of these young women was done with a lewd and lascivious intent.”
Miami-Dade Police issued a statement Friday saying he had been relieved of duty days after the alleged incident on another matter. Police did not elaborate. Rodriguez allegedly told his sergeant that he wanted to go to Canada.
Miami-Dade Police say that anyone else who may have been a victim of Officer Rodriguez should contact the department as soon as possible.
“At this particular time, we want to reach out to the public and we want to request that if there is anyone that has come in contact with Juan Carlos Rodriguez at any point in time to give us a call, to give our Special Victims Bureau a call,” detective Bobby Williams with the MDPD said.