A young woman and her partner have filed a complaint against Hialeah Police in Florida because they say a police officer sexually harassed them.
The 17-year-old and 20-year-old, whose identities have been kept anonymous, were traveling in their car when the officer, Jesus Menocal Jr., stopped them because of a U-turn.
Both said the officer never gave them a reason for stopping them, but he took the 17-year-old in to custody.
“(He asked me) how do I have intercourse, and I told him, 'Why do I need to answer that? Why is that necessary?' He insisted me to answer it, so I told him how me and my partner have intercourse, which is me and my girlfriend,” the alleged victim told WSVN. “After, he asked if I was a virgin. He asked me, if he was to test me right that moment, if I had any diseases on me.”
“He puts down his weapon belt, and he starts rubbing on his private parts, which is his (expletive), and he tells me to take off my pants. If not, I was going to be arrested,” the teen continued.
“I thought I was going to get arrested for no reason. I feel like I was being detained for no reason. He had put me in a room, he told me I was going to be with investigators, and out of nowhere, there's no one in the office,” she said.
“He wanted me to take off my shirt and my bra together, and I told him, 'No. Why do I have to do that? There's no reason to do that.' Then he said, 'Oh, I thought you wanted to (expletive),’” she stated.
She was detained in the room for around 15 minutes, before being released without any charge.
“To be honest, I think this situation happened to more than one girl,” the teen’s partner commented.
Hialeah Police has suspended Menocal on full pay while the issue is looked into.
ThinkProgress noted that the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project found that of 618 officers facing sexual assault allegations, 354 were said to have performed nonconsensual acts.
“This is a crime about power and control, and when you have people who are in a position of power who perpetrate that crime, it can really undermine a victim’s belief in systems or structures,” explained Jen Marsh, vice president of Victims’ Services at the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. RAINN’s helpline receives many calls identifying acts of sexual abuse committed by officers, the report said.
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