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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Miami Police Detective Joe Mendez said he stands by every denial of wrongdoing he made to reporters as he left the Broward County Jail Tuesday night.

“I’m a law-abiding citizen, I’ve worked hard for my city and here I am based on whatever happened,” said Mendez.

Mendez is accused of making inappropriate advances to underage girls who are part of the South Miami Police Explorers Program, which he headed for five years.

“The cadets and their families know exactly who I am,” he insisted.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Mendez bought two girls alcohol, asked them to show him their breasts, and actually kissed one of those girls.

The investigation began when a fellow officer came forward to report it.

Mendez response when asked whether there was a vendetta against him:

“What do you think?”

CBS4’s Natalia Zea spoke with Officer Mendez by phone Wednesday. He said the vendetta he was referring to involves previous issues he’s had with a fellow police officer, but the department spokesman shot back against that and said these allegations do not involve any other officer, they involve that female police explorer.

In addition to being charged with buying alcohol for minors, he is facing eight counts of possessing child pornography found on his phone.

Mendez denies downloading the images, and his attorney added that there is no proof what was found involves any minors.

After being suspended from the force for more than a year, Mendez doesn’t seem to want to get back his badge.

“I don’t think I want to seeing as the justice system is the way it is that has me here today,” said Mendez.

The director of the organization that oversees the police explorer program sent a statement which reads in part:

“While this individual has not been involved in Learning for Life programs for more than a year, we took immediate action to bar him from any future association with our programs. The safety of our youth participants is a top priority.

“Exploring seeks to protect participants through a comprehensive program of education, training, criminal and other background checks, barriers to abuse, prompt reporting, and swift action.”

The criminal and internal police investigations continue.

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