FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested and now faces multiple charges for allegedly interacting with a minor.
Jemiah Thomas, 35, was booked at the Broward County Jail after he appeared in court, Tuesday morning.
During his court appearance, Thomas’ family supported him but choose not to say anything publicly.
This arrest, carried out by the same agency where Thomas served, comes after he was accused of obscene communication using a computer to seduce a child, transmission of harmful material to the child, travelling to meet a minor after using a computer to solicit them, and lewd and lascivious behavior.
“Deputy arrives there back in September, have communications with the younger girl there, 17 years of age, at some point exchange phone numbers, have their text messages going back and forward, and throughout that texting and communication, there have been strategic efforts to plan and meet with the minor, sexual communications, pictures being sent,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
According to BSO, “In those conversations, Thomas indicated his desire to meet with her privately and perform sex acts on her,” and “at one point, according to investigators, telling her that he could be her ‘personal sheriff that handcuff (sic) you from time to time.'”
After receiving a tip, investigators who handle internet crimes against children took over and they were ultimately able to get Thomas to show up to a hotel room, ostensibly to meet the girl. He was later arrested.
“You got a a deputy who did nothing more than take advantage, of his powers, authority, and solicit, sexually solicitation of a minor,” Tony said.
The International Union of Police Associations released a statement regarding Thomas’s arrest:
“The International Union of Police Associations (I.U.P.A.) Local 6020 is aware of the arrest of Jemiah Thomas. We are only privy to the charges brought against him and not the details of the investigation. The alleged charges, if true, are extremely concerning and unacceptable. The facts of the investigation will come out in court where ultimately a jury of Thomas’s peers will review the evidence and make a determination of guilt or innocence. Thomas, like every citizen of the United States, is innocent until proven guilty and shall be awarded his due process through the courts.”
“This here is one of the most grotesque and deliberate attempts to really abuse a minor in our community,” Tony said.
Thomas has been a deputy for six years and 7New has asked for his records as a deputy, but the sheriff said none of that really mattered and what really mattered is what he’s being accused of doing.
He was suspended without pay and will appear in court again on Wednesday.
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