FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who faces multiple charges for allegedly interacting with a minor has bonded out of jail following his arrest and court appearance.
7News cameras captured BSO Deputy Jemiah Thomas as he walked out of the Broward County Jail, Wednesday afternoon. He declined to comment on his charges.
Thomas, 35, was arrested early Tuesday morning. He is accused of soliciting a 17-year-old girl for a sexual relationship via text messages.
In court Wednesday afternoon, Thomas was officially charged.
“I did find probable cause on all four counts,” said the judge.
The investigation into the deputy, a six-year veteran with the department, started earlier this month and lasted about a week and a half.
ony addressed Thomas’s arrest during a news conference.
“[Thomas] did nothing more than take advantage, take advantage of his powers, abuse his authority and solicit, sexual solicitation of a minor,” he said.
Investigators said Thomas met his alleged victim on duty when he responded to her home for a domestic dispute.
“Deputy arrives here back in September, had communications with the young girl there, 17 years of age, at some point exchanged phone numbers, has their text messages going back and forth,” said Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony.
From there, Tony said, things escalated.
“There had been strategic efforts to plan and meet with the minor, sexual communications, pictures being sent,” he 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.’”
Authorities said Thomas tried to meet the minor at a hotel on Monday. He was arrested the next morning.
“To be nothing more than a sexual predator is an insult to this agency, is an insult to this profession,” said Tony.
Thomas is married with children. His family was in court this week but had nothing to say.
‘No, no comment,” said a family member.
Thomas’ attorney, Sidney Fleischman, said his client has his family’s support.
“He’s doing well under the circumstances. He’s looking forward to getting out of jail so we can start working on the case,” said Fleischman. “The family is very supportive of him.”
As a condition of Thomas’ bond, the judge ordered him to stay away from minors other than his children, refrain from contacting the alleged victim and avoid using any device that is connected to the internet.
Thomas has been suspended without pay.
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