MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami police officer was arrested Wednesday on charges he sexually molested a woman he was supposed to be transporting to jail, investigators said.
Officer Luis Hernandez, 27, is a 7-year veteran of the Miami Police Department, Officer Kenia Reyes said in a press release.
Hernandez was taken to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, or TGK, Wednesday night.
Hernandez is charged with armed kidnapping and sexual battery by a law enforcement officer.
Sources familiar with the investigation tell CBS 4’s Jim Defede the charges stem from an arrest made over a year ago.
Investigators said the victim was an undocumented immigrant working as a “bar girl” at a Wynwood area restaurant, La Boricua cafeteria.
That restaurant is now closed, but back in November 2011, a source said the victim got into a late night fight with another bar girl and was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery.
Investigators said the woman was processed at the police department then handed over to Officer Hernandez to be transported.
“It appears that Officer Hernandez was performing his duties as a lawful police officer, doing his job in his scope of work, when the incident with this woman occurred,” Officer Kenia Reyes said.
Instead of taking her where he was supposed to, Hernandez is accused of stopping at a parking lot along Northwest 2nd Avenue , taking her out of the car, fondling her, and demanding the woman perform oral sex on him. Sources said the woman pleaded with him to stop and he eventually did.
When the woman was taken to jail, sources said she told officials Hernandez had attacked her.
Investigators said DNA evidence linked Hernandez of the force to the case and that there was more than half an hour unaccounted for when he reconstructed his story for the cops.
It’s not clear if the woman has been deported. Christina Asencio with Americans for Immigrant Justice said her office deals with cases like this one.
“Anyone who is undocumented in this country who’s a victim of a qualifying crime including sexual assault and cooperates with law enforcement, in this case city of Miami Police or the State Attorney’s Office, in investigating the crime would be eligible for protection,” Asencio said.
Hernandez is still employed by the Miami Police Dept.
Ofc. Reyes said Hernandez had been on leave throughout the internal affairs investigation. His status with the department will be determined once the judicial process is over, Reyes explained.
“The Miami Police Department strives and continues to serve the citizens of Miami with great pride and we take every situation and every investigation seriously,” Ofc. Reyes said.