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Officer Of The Year Pleads Guilty To 33 Charges, Accused Of Raping Immigrants

Former Broward County, Florida, Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss pleaded guilty 33 times to a laundry list of crimes on Feb. 12.

In a plea deal, Bleiweiss pleaded guilty to 14 counts of armed false imprisonment, 15 counts of battery and four counts of stalking.

Bleiweiss was originally accused of forcing at least a dozen undocumented male immigrants to have sex with him, but the victims refused to testify because they are illegally in the country and feared reprisal, claimed assistant state attorney Neva Smith.

Bleiweiss, a former "Employee of the Year," was arrested in 2009.

"All the victims were consulted, the ones who were interested and available, but, at this point, after six years, it was the best and the most just and fair resolution that the state could come up with," Smith told Local 10.

"I can understand that," added Smith. "They are tired. They have been held hostage by this case for years. They have been tormented and teased in their community. They don't want their faces on camera."

In exchange for pleading guilty, Bleiweiss was sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years of probation, but will not have to register as a sex offender.

The Sun-Sentinel noted that on the same day that Bleiweiss made his plea deal, Eric Beasley, a former high school teacher, got 20 years in jail after he admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old female student.

Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein called Bleiweiss' case "shocking and shameful to the whole county."

Bleiweiss' attorney, Alvin Entin, countered, "People can be set up. This, to me, smacks of that."

"He traded a plea for things he didn't do so that he could have a rest of his life," added Entin.

Entin said that Bleiweiss will eventually be able to move "where nobody will have ever heard of Jonathan Bleiweiss or BSO."

Sources: Local 10, The Sun-Sentinel / Image Credit: Broward County Sheriff's Office Media Handout


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