MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Hialeah Police Sergeant Jesus “Jesse” Menocal pleaded guilty Friday in three separate federal cases in which victims claimed they were sexually assaulted in 2014 and 2015 by Menocal while he was on duty.
Menocal pleaded guilty to three counts of depriving the women of their rights under the color of law. Because the counts are misdemeanors, the 34-year-old Menocal faces no more than a year in prison on each count when he is sentenced on May 12th. But he does face a hefty fine and restitution.READ MORE: Monkeypox Case In Broward County Under Investigation
Menocal had no comment as he left court holding hands with his wife and his two attorneys. But he did stand behind them as they commented.
Attorney Jude Faccidomo told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that “Jesse made a decision today as a father and as a son to put this case behind him. The government prosecuted this case very aggressively and spared no expense. They employed some of their top tactics and skills. They decided to dismiss the felony counts and Jesse pleaded to misdemeanors. Again this means he can get on with his life.”
Menocal gives up his right to appeal and will not be allowed to be a police officer anywhere in the United States.
Faccidomo said, “He is going to go home and be with his family and put this behind him. And to be very clear this will not include sex offender status. That would be unlawful because they are misdemeanors.”READ MORE: Couples Set To Make 2022 A Record Year For Tying The Knot
Faccidomo told federal Judge Kathleen Willians that threats had been made against Menocal on Instagram. The judge said she wanted the F.B.I. To look into those alleged threats.
One of Menocal’s victims told CBS4 in November of 2019 “He needs to go to jail. He needs to be sentenced and justice served. He needs to go to jail.”
That victim’s mother told D’Oench in December of 2019, “I feel terrible about this. I get very nervous and I cry. He was taking advantage of the people because of the uniform he wears.”
That victim filed a lawsuit against Menocal, who was a former SWAT team member. Under one of the previous felony charges that were filed, Menocal could have faced up to life behind bars.MORE NEWS: Pedestrian Fatalities In The US Reach Highest Level In 40 Years
Originally the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute Menocal saying the charges could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.