MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Authorities said a former Florida prosecutor pressured a woman into having sex in exchange for help with her criminal case.
Juan Mercado, 29, was arrested Wednesday in Miami-Dade County and charged with bribery, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news release.
Mercado served as assistant state attorney with the 20th Judicial Circuit from May 2017 to February 2019. The circuit covers Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.
Great job, FDLE Fort Myers!
Former ASA Juan Mercado was arrested today on charges of #bribery. He had a sexual relationship with a woman charged w/ domestic battery & offered to “make her case go away.”
— FDLE (@fdlepio) February 12, 2020
The FDLE investigation showed that the woman was being prosecuted for domestic battery in Collier County, and Mercado offered to “make her case go away” in exchange for sex. Mercado was not the assigned prosecutor on the case but accessed records and provided information and advice to the woman.
After leaving the State Attorney’s Office, Mercado opened up a private practice in Miami.
To avoid a potential conflict of interest, Mercado’s case is being handled in the 12th Judicial Circuit, which includes DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Miami-Dade’s jail records show that Mercado has posted bond, though the amount wasn’t available. It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)